ECSA hails 'important progress' on CO2 reduction at MEPC 71

Verhoeven says there is 'a strong will from the European shipowners to decarbonise the industry'.



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Updated on 12 Jul 2017 06:21 GMT

The European Community Shipowners' Associations (ECSA) says it believes "important progress" was made last week at the International Maritime Organziation's (IMO) 71st Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) meeting in London.

In the meeting, a plan was agreed to develop a CO2 reduction strategy in line with the Paris COP21 Agreement on climate change. An initial strategy for reducing emissions of greenhouse gases from the international shipping is set to be further developed in the next meeting of October 2017, and the next MEPC 72 meeting is expected to adopt it in 2018.

Commenting on the news, the ECSA said: "The industry believes this should lay out a clear vision and short and medium term measures and quantified CO2 reduction objectives for the sector."

"We are confident that IMO will now be able to deliver an ambitious strategy at the next IMO working group meeting in October. There is certainly a strong will from the European shipowners to decarbonise the industry," said Patrick Verhoeven, ECSA's Secretary General. "We are prepared to play our part in limiting greenhouse gas emission and we were pleased to see there was a general willingness among governments to commit to developing a strategy as well," he added.

In a submission to last week's MEPC meeting made by the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and other shipping associations, it was proposed that the IMO should adopt a number of CO2 reduction objectives on behalf of the international shipping sector.

Specifically, the submission proposed that the sector's total CO2 emissions should not increase above 2008 levels, thus establishing 2008 as the year of peak emissions from shipping, and that IMO should agree upon a percentage by which the total emissions from the sector might reduce by 2050.

Image: Patrick Verhoeven, Secretary General of the European Community Shipowners' Associations (ECSA).