IMO seeks global solution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from shipping
The Marine Environment Protection Committee of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) is due to meet from 10 to 17 June 2021. The objective of this remote meeting is to decide on a short-term measure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from maritime transport international. Finland supports effective global rules to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
A compromise was found between the Member States at the last meeting of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) in November 2020
on measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from international maritime transport in the short term. The weakness of this compromise is that it does not provide for effective punitive measures for ships that do not take the corrective measures required to reduce emissions. This hampers efforts to meet the emission reduction target set for 2030. The measures are expected to be finalized at the June meeting and take effect from early 2023.
The IMO seeks to reduce the CO2 emissions of the international merchant navy relative to transport performance, ie to achieve a 40% improvement in carbon intensity by 2030. Like others As a member state of the IMO, Finland is committed to achieving this goal, and the methods to be decided now seek above all to achieve this. The IMO must decide in the coming years on how to reduce all greenhouse gas emissions caused by international shipping by at least 50% from 2008 levels by 2050.
The June session will decide on a comprehensive emission reduction measure, with the main focus not only on improving the energy efficiency of ships, but also on regulating their operational carbon intensity. According to the option favored by Finland, the carbon intensity of international maritime transport should decrease by at least an additional 22% between 2019 and 2030 to ensure a reduction in carbon intensity of at least 40% during the period from 2008 to 2030. Finland proposed an exemption for ice-resistant vessels when moving in icy conditions. This would avoid placing additional burdens on Finnish competitiveness due to winter shipping.
The meeting will also tentatively discuss market-based emission reduction measures. Finland supports the development and introduction of a global market based emission reduction measure as soon as possible. The idea now put forward by some countries and the shipping industry of collecting marginal fuel levies in an international R&D fund can serve as a basis for market-based measure. Finland nevertheless believes that the measure should clearly guide the abandonment of fossil fuels in maritime transport via carbon pricing. The allocation of the Fund’s assets should pay particular attention to least developed countries and small island developing States.
The meeting will also discuss the impact on States of measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, scrubbers, ship ballast water, reduction of plastic waste from ships at sea and underwater noise. . Many original agenda items were postponed until the next meeting due to the shortening of meeting days resulting from the coronavirus pandemic and remote connections.
Finnish participants in the meeting will include representatives from the Ministry of Transport and Communications, the Ministry of the Environment, the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency (Traficom), the Finnish Meteorological Institute and the provincial government of land. The Finnish government adopted a resolution on May 6, 2021 which also includes certain priorities for international influence to be applied at this meeting in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from maritime transport.
What are the next steps?
The Marine Environment Protection Committee is due to decide on a short-term emission reduction measure at its June meeting. If an agreement is reached, work will continue with the finalization of the guidelines specifying the settlement. Support negotiations are underway concerning medium and long-term emission reduction measures and the update of the IMO’s strategy on greenhouse gases before 2023.
If a consensus is not reached or if the end result is insufficient to meet the emission reduction targets set by the IMO, then the pressure will increase for regional action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transport. international shipping, both in Europe and beyond. The European Commission has declared its intention to expand EU emissions trading to include maritime transport. A proposal is expected on July 14, 2021 as part of the Commission’s Fit for 55 climate package. Details have yet to emerge on how European maritime emissions trading would be implemented.
Source: Ministry of Transport and Communications