MEPC 73: Coalition calls for 'urgency' to adopt CO2 reduction measures

Last week's IPCC report 'makes the implications of delayed action very clear indeed', says HAC.

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Updated on 18 Oct 2018 12:42 GMT

With only a few days to go before next week's 73rd meeting of the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), co-leads of the High Ambition Coalition (HAC) - an alliance representing more than 100 nations focused on meeting specific environmental goals - have called on countries and members of the IMO to act with 'urgency' in order to ensure that the Initial Greenhouse Gas Strategy is implemented without delay.

Back in April, members of the IMO reached an historic agreement to adopt the Initial Strategy and reduce shipping greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least 50 percent on 2008 levels by 2050, with a strong emphasis on scaling up action to 100 percent 'as soon as possible'.

And with the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) publishing its 1.5 degrees special report only last week, HAC says "the world will be watching IMO MEPC 73 closely", as it will be the first United Nations multilateral meeting to address climate change since the document was published.

The IPCC report examined the consequences of failing to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, concluding that global warming of 2 degrees or more will not be safe for any country.

HAC says the report "sets a very clear context for why the IMO must fully deliver on its Initial Strategy, and be seen to be doing so. It also makes the implications of delayed action very clear indeed".

"In that light it is imperative that the IMO demonstrates, at its meetings in London this week and next, that it is taking steps to fully implement its Initial Strategy to combat climate change," HAC added.

According to HAC, measures that have the potential to further reduce GHGs before 2023 will need to be developed and prioritized.

"Doing so is critical in order to put emissions from international shipping on a pathway consistent with achieving the levels of ambition in the Initial Strategy, including reducing emissions of greenhouse gases by at least 50 percent by 2050, compared to 2008 levels," HAC said.

"We encourage all countries and members of the IMO to heed the call of urgency and come together once more to do what needs to be done," the coalition stressed.

Acting as co-leads for the High Ambition Coalition are David Paul, Minister-in-Assistance to the President and Environment Minister for the Marshall Islands; Eliam Tangirongo, Solomon Islands High Commissioner to the UK; and Philippe De Backer, State Secretary for the North Sea, Belgium.