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IMO readies greenhouse gas reduction mechanisms

London: IMO reports that progress towards developing a mandatory regime to control greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from international shipping was made during the first intersessional meeting of its Working Group on Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Ships, held in Oslo last week. The meeting was attended by more than 210 delegates, comprising experts from all over the world.

The week-long session was tasked with developing the technical basis for reduction mechanisms that may form part of a future IMO regime to control GHG emissions from international shipping, and with developing drafts of the actual reduction mechanisms themselves, for further consideration by IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), which next meets in October 2008 and, notwithstanding the importance of the Oslo meeting, will have the final, decisive role to play on the issue.

In particular, the Oslo meeting made progress on developing a mandatory CO2 Design Index for ships and an interim CO2 operational index, and held extensive discussions on best practices for voluntary implementation and economic instruments with GHG-reduction potential

Although, to date, no mandatory GHG instrument for international shipping has been adopted, IMO has given extensive consideration to the matter and is currently working in accordance with an ambitious work plan, due to culminate, in 2009, with the adoption of a binding instrument. IMO is working to have measures in place to control GHG emissions from international shipping before the first commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol expires at the end of 2011.  [01/07/08]

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