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EU shipowners reaffirm support for IMO to lead GHG emissions fight

EU shipowners reaffirm support for IMO to lead GHG emissions fight
The European Community Shipowners’ Association (ECSA) has thrown its weight behind IMO as the proper leader of efforts to reduce shipping’ s greenhouse gas emissions at the start of the COP 21 Climate Change Conference in Paris. 

“We fully support the idea that shipping has to contribute to global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions” said ECSA secretary-general Patrick Verhoeven, before reiterating his association’s confidence in the ability of the IMO to tackle the problem. “After all, the IMO is the shipping industry’s global regulator,” he added.

The EU has already aadopted a regulation (EU 2015/757) on the monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) of CO2 emissions from maritime transport, he reminded, as necessary first step in ascertaining the real contribution of shipping to global CO2 emissions, starting in 2018.

Having already adopted the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) and Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP) for new and existing ships, the IMO was likewise now “making good progress” on  drawing up a global MRV system for individual ships, he added, “mirroring the EU system.”

The issue will now be discussed at the IMO’s next MEPC meeting in April, Verhoeven stated, with the shipping industry supporting “the establishment, as soon as possible, of a mandatory system of data collection from individual ships, understanding that the possibility of further market based measures might be revisited after an IMO analysis of the data submitted by ships.”

Benoit Loicq, director of Maritime Safety and Environment at ECSA, said that the EU and IMO efforts on MRV had plotted “a clear course… for the maritime industry,” which he hoped COP 21 would recognize and build upon, especially since the International Chamber of Shipping had already committed to a 50% reduction in shipping’s GHG emissions by 2050.