The IMO has received a proposal from the trade associations BIMCO, INTERCARGO, INTERTANKO, and the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) regarding the reduction of CO2 emissions by the international shipping sector. The proposal is in advance of the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee meeting in London this July
The proposal’s objectives are twofold—that all IMO member states immediately maintain international shipping’s annual total CO2 emissions below 2008 levels, as well as reduce CO2 emissions per tonne of cargo transported one kilometre, as an average across international shipping, by at least 50% by 2050, compared to 2008. Industry associations have further suggested that the IMO should consider the additional objective of reducing international shipping’s total annual CO2 emissions by an agreed percentage by 2050 (as compared to 2008) as a point on a continuing trajectory of further CO2 emissions reduction.
Aside from constructive measures, this would also be pragmatic as instituting measures that would allow the IMO to remain in charge of emission reduction would lessen the risk of market-distorting measures implemented at national or regional levels. Given the manner in which harsh caps on emission reduction would negatively impact the trade and sustainable development of developing nations in particular, the proposal explicitly notes that any objectives adopted by IMO must not imply any commitment to place a binding cap on the sector’s total CO2 emissions or on the CO2 emissions of individual ships.