The International Maritime Organization reaches a minimum agreement on emission reduction measures described as “disappointing”.

Dark prospects for the decarbonization of shipping.

Prospects for decarbonization of maritime transport “looming dark” despite the minimum agreement in extremis reached by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), considered a first step, “although without satisfying anyone”, for the reduction of CO2 emissions from ships.

This is stated by the representative of the marine protection organization OceanCare in Spain Carlos Bravo, for whom the measures should be mandatory, and also include mechanisms to punish those who fail to comply, as well as financially incentivize ships that commit to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has reached a minimum agreement on short-term emission reduction measures, which will be included in the document to be sent and approved in November by the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) at its next meeting.

More ambition

OceanCare urges the agency dependent on the United Nations with the mission of ensuring the safety of marine navigation and the protection of the marine environment, which includes 174 States, “a greater ambition and a true commitment “ with the objectives of the Paris Agreement to avoid an increase of 2 degrees in the temperature of the planet and preferably that it does not exceed 1.5 degrees.

The document agreed on this Friday is the result of a marathon negotiation in the last hours, in which France and China received the order from the rest of the countries to make a last effort and give way to some stranded conversations because of the division between those in favor of greater climate ambition and those who prefer to delay emission reduction measures.

Although it has finally been decided to adopt the document for consideration at the MEPC75, it has been described as “disappointing” for lack of climate ambition by Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark and other EU countries, in addition to Canada, New Zealand and Mexico, among others, and also by international climate protection organizations present as observers at the meeting, explains Bravo.

In the opinion of this expert, with the measures included, IMO will not be able to meet the targets of its CO2 emission reduction strategy, approved in 2018.

The most critical of this “imperfect” agreement, according to Bravo, reproach above all the lack of obligation to implement in the short term the measures to reduce emissions, the lack of incentives for those who want to act quickly to stop them and the absence of mechanisms to reinforce the measures to be adopted.