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IMO agrees mandatory global CO2 data collection system

IMO agrees mandatory global CO2 data collection system
This week’s Marine Environmental Protection Committee (MEPC) meeting at the IMO has agreed the outline of a new global CO2 data collection system to be administered by the UN body, with details due to be rubber-stamped at the next MEPC meeting in October.

The system is seen as the necessary first step towards eventually reducing CO2 emissions by shipping in line with the commitments made by countries at the Paris Agreement in December, and has been welcomed by shipowner representative the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS).

Basically the IMO system will be mandatory and require all vessels over 5,000 gt to provide information on fuel consumption to their flag state, which will then pass it on to the IMO for compilation and forwarding.

Crucially the figures will be “anonymous” insofar as they will be used merely to calculate a total shipping industry – rather than individual shipowner – emissions figure. In this respect they differ from the EU’s MRV (monitoring, reporting and verification) regulation that has already been adopted but will not be fully implemented from 2018. As currently envisaged these would require all ships sailing in EU waters to submit far more detailed metrics, including speed and distances.

One reason that bodies like the ICS has been so keen that the IMO agree a global system is the hope that the EU will now be persuaded to align its system with the IMO’s. Otherwise it is feared the EU may proceed to draw up an operational energy efficiency index – a bit like the rating system for household items like fridges – that would form the basis of a system for rewarding or penalising individual ships, which bodies like the ICS deem overly simplistic.    

“The priority now is to persuade the EU to adjust its unilateral regulation on the reporting and verification of individual ship emissions to make it compatible with what has been agreed at IMO,” commented ICS secretary general Peter Hinchliffe.