IMO is on Full Speed Ahead with COP21 Agreement

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The Paris Climate Change conference (COP21) 2015 Agreement identifies a clear goal on two objectives:

  • holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and
  • to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels.

IMO has contributed over last decade and will continue to contribute to global GHG reduction goals. IMO and its Member States recognise the important need for international shipping, which accounts for 2.2% of CO2 anthropogenic emissions (Third IMO GHG Study 2014) to support global efforts to mitigate the impact of climate change.

To date, IMO is the only organization to have adopted energy-efficiency measures that are legally binding across an entire global industry and apply to all countries. IMO steps for reduction of CO2 emission:

  • Mandatory energy efficiency standards for new ships and mandatory operational measures to reduce emissions from existing ships, entered into force under an existing international convention (MARPOL Annex VI) in 2013.
  • By 2025, all new ships will be 30% more energy efficient than those built last year.

This is more than a target, it is a legal requirement, and demonstrates that IMO is the correct and only forum to identify solutions and an appropriate pathway for international shipping to de-carbonize with the rest of the globe.

Continuing efforts will include development of a global data collection system for ship’s fuel consumption to be discussed in detail at the next meeting of IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee(MEPC 69)  in 2016, further consideration of a total-sector reduction target for GHG emissions from international shipping as proposed by the Marshall Islands in 2015, and continued investigation of additional mechanisms for ships to support the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

MO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu said,

“The Paris Agreement represents remarkable progress and builds on the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, which itself was a significant step forward. The absence of any specific mention of shipping in the final text will in no way diminish the strong commitment of IMO as the regulator of the shipping industry to continue work to address GHG emissions from ships engaged in international trade.”

During COP21, IMO highlighted the followings:

  • An update of its work to address GHG emissions from bunker fuels used for international shipping.
  • Report on its work on further developing guidelines to support the uniform implementation of the regulations on energy-efficiency for ships; and
  • Report on its efforts with regard to technical co-operation and capacity-building to ensure effective implementation and enforcement of the aforementioned new regulations worldwide and, importantly, activities to support promotion of technical co-operation and transfer of technology relating to the improvement of energy efficiency of ships.

At IMO, the Governments of the world come together to develop the regulatory framework for international shipping which forms the basis for investment decisions. There is a clear imperative now for IMO’s Member States to rise to the challenge set by the Paris Agreement. Secretary-General Sekimizu said, “I now encourage Governments to bring the spirit of the Paris Agreement to IMO and come forward with new, creative proposals and to approach them in a constructive and cooperative manner.” He said the challenge set by the Paris Agreement also extended,

  • to ship designers and marine engineers to develop the technological solutions,
  • to ship operators or ship managers, to seafarers and those who educate them and, importantly to the business of shipping, which needs to ensure that investment in innovative low carbon technologies is properly incentivised.

As the Paris Agreement once again highlighted, there is a clear imperative that development must now be truly sustainable. As a facilitator of global commerce international shipping is indispensable to the world, and IMO Member Governments, observer organizations and wider civil society will continue to drive the progress made in Paris.

The Key points of COP21:

The measures in the agreement included:

• To peak greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible and achieve a balance between sources and sinks of greenhouse gases in the second half of this century

• To keep global temperature increase “well below” 2C (3.6F) and to pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5C

• To review progress every five years

• $100 billion a year in climate finance for developing countries by 2020, with a commitment to further finance in the future.

Source: (Briefing: 55 Press released on 14/12/2015) and

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