IMO amends GHG strategy, drawing mixed reactions

Chamber of Shipping > Blog > News > International > IMO amends GHG strategy, drawing mixed reactions

This week at at Marine Environment Protection Committee Meeting (MPEC80), the International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted new climate targets aimed at achieving net-zero emissions by or around 2050. The targets include indicative checkpoints for greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions, aiming for at least a 20% reduction by 2030 and at least 70% by 2040, based on a 2008 baseline. IMO member states also agreed to develop a global marine fuel standard to regulate the phased reduction of GHG intensity in marine fuels.

Prior to the MEPC 80, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada advocated for a 37% reduction in emissions by 2030, while the European Union countries put forward a proposal for a 29% reduction by the same deadline. In contrast, Japan and South Korea presented less ambitious targets for 2030.

However, the ruling has drawn mixed reactions as industry officials welcome it as a historic compromise, while environmental groups criticize it for lacking ambition and clarity. The strategy aims for net-zero emissions by or around 2050 and sets indicative checkpoints for emissions reductions by 2030 and 2040. Industry groups see it as a strong signal but emphasize the need for a global levy on emissions. Green groups complained the revised targets were both non-committal in the language and failed to align with the 1.5°C detail set out by the Paris Agreement.

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