IMO MEPC agrees to initiate GHG strategy review, recognizing need for strengthened ambitions

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White research ship in the ice of Antarctica. White research ship in the ice of Antarctica.

White research ship in the ice of Antarctica.[/caption]

The Marine Environment Protection Committee meeting (MEPC 77) leld last week agreed to initiate the revision of the Initial IMO Strategy on Reduction of GHG emissions from ships, recognizing the need to strengthen the ambition during the revision process, report the International Maritime Organization.

The IMO, in view of the urgency for all sectors to accelerate their efforts to reduce GHG emissions – as emphasized in the recent IPCC reports and the Glasgow Climate Pact – recognized the need to strengthen the ambition of the Initial IMO GHG Strategy during its revision process. The MEPC has agreed to initiate the revision of its GHG strategy and also adopted a resolution on voluntary use of cleaner fuels in the Arctic, to reduce black carbon emissions.

In other work, the MEPC adopted a strategy to address marine plastic litter from ships; adopted revised guidelines for exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCS) and agreed the scope of work on discharge water of EGCS; and considered matters related to the Ballast Water Management Convention.

MEPC 77 agreed to initiate the revision of the Initial IMO Strategy on Reduction of GHG emissions from ships, recognizing the need to strengthen the ambition during the revision process. The move comes in the wake of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 26), held in Glasgow, United Kingdom, (1-12 November) and in view of the urgency for all sectors to accelerate their efforts to reduce GHG emissions.

A final draft Revised IMO GHG Strategy would be considered by MEPC 80 (scheduled to meet in spring 2023), with a view to adoption.
The Initial IMO Strategy on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Shipping was adopted in 2018.

The Committee invited interested Member States and international organizations to work together and to submit concrete proposals for a revised IMO GHG Strategy to MEPC 78 (June 2022) for consideration.

Closing the session, IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said: “Strengthening the ambition of the Initial IMO GHG Strategy during its revision will be crucial. Our collective actions must show our dedication to contribute towards the global issue, climate change.”

A number of proposals for further mid-term GHG reduction measures, including market-based measures, to address GHG emissions from shipping, as well as a proposal to establish an International Maritime Research and Development Board, were discussed during the session. This followed presentation of a number of proposals in the Intersessional Working Group on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships (ISWG GHG 10).
Following a constructive discussion, the Committee referred the proposals and relevant documents, including associated impact assessments, to the next sessions ISWG-GHG for further assessment in accordance with Phase I of the Organization’s Work plan on the development of mid-term measures.

The terms of reference for the next sessions of the ISWG-GHG were agreed. ISWG-GHG 11 is set to meet 14 to 18 March 2022 and ISWG-GHG 12, 16 to 20 May 2022.

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