ICS Supports IMO CO2 Roadmap


The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has applauded the agreement, last Friday, by the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) to develop a comprehensive Road Map for addressing CO2 emissions from international shipping – with initial CO2 reduction commitments to be agreed by IMO by 2018. 

ICS Secretary General, Peter Hinchliffe, said: “The adoption of the Road Map is a significant decision by IMO Member States that will give further impetus to the substantial CO2 reductions that are already being delivered by technical and operational measures, and the binding global CO2 reduction regulations for shipping adopted by IMO in 2011, four years before the Paris Agreement.” 

However, ICS says the IMO Road Map will go much further than the Paris Agreement. 

Peter Hinchliffe continued: “The final stage of the Road Map to be enacted by 2023 should establish a global mechanism for ensuring that these IMO CO2 reduction commitments will actually be delivered.” said Peter Hinchliffe. 

ICS has also commented on a number of other important decisions taken by the MEPC meeting in London last week. 

IMO Ballast Water Management Convention 

ICS has welcomed the adoption of the revised mandatory and more robust G8 Type Approval Guidelines for ballast water treatment systems, in advance of the entry into force of the IMO Ballast

Water Management Convention in September 2017 

ICS says this should do much to increase the confidence of shipowners that the expensive new equipment, which they are now required to install, will be fit for purpose and acceptable to Port State Control authorities worldwide. 

However, ICS is disappointed that a number of important issues will not be fully resolved until after the Convention enters into force.  This includes the details of the implementation schedule, given the serious shortage of global dry dock capacity for retrofitting existing ships and hence the impossibility of meeting the current installation deadlines. 

2020 Global Sulphur Cap

This will deliver a dramatic reduction in sulphur emissions by shipping worldwide and improve local air quality in coastal areas.  But it will also have a significant impact on the economics of shipping – compliant fuel is expected to cost between 50% and 100% more than the residual fuel that most ships currently burn.     

Peter Hinchliffe said: “The MEPC agreement to establish a new IMO work stream to consider these important implementation issues, as requested by the industry, is therefore very welcome.”

ICS says that the clear decision about implementation in 2020 should make it easier for shipowners to consider alternative compliance options such as fitting exhaust gas cleaning systems (‘scrubbers’) or using low sulphur fuels such as LNG.  However, overall uncertainty about future oil and gas prices – aside from uncertainty about likely differentials between low sulphur and residual fuel in 2020 – mean that such decisions will not be easy.   

Bimco has published conclusions from an official report stating that due to the new International Maritime Organisation (IMO) global sulphur emissions legislation, there may not be enough marine fuel available by 2020.

The new IMO study states that global sulphur needs to be capped at 0.5% from 3.5%, Bimco however, voiced concerns over the fact they have not addressed key issues.

NOx Emission Control Area in the North Sea and Baltic 

ICS has also welcomed the approval of two new NOx (nitrogen oxide) Emission Control Areas to take effect in the North Sea and the Baltic for new ships delivered from January 2021.  This is in line with an application by the coastal states, including the Russian Federation. 

ICS stated that the IMO approval demonstrates that measures necessary to address particular environmental concerns about the regional impacts of shipping can be developed by consensus within the global regulatory framework provided by IMO, without the need for any unilateral legislation.          

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