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German shipowners defend IMO emissions approach

German shipowners defend IMO emissions approach
Setting carbon reduction targets would only “make sense” once the IMO’s anonymous CO2 reporting standards have yielded meaningful data, the German Shipowners’ Association (VDR) has said.

Despite drawing ire from environmental groups, the IMO decision not to set binding CO2 reduction targets during the session was valid, argued VDR ceo Ralf Nagel (pictured). “It's important first of all to have the CO2 data of all ships collected and analysed by the IMO.

“Only if we have sound, solid data does the discussion really make sense regarding suitable objectives and measures to reduce the already low CO2 footprint of maritime shipping even further.”

VDR further emphasised that shipping is already facing mandatory climate protection regulations, with newbuilds having to adhere to incrementally higher efficiency standards and using 30% less fuel per ton-kilometre from 2025. Additional factors are parameters laid down for energy-efficient ship operation.

Distinguished from the EU monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) system adopted in April last year, the IMO figures would be anonymous, used to calculate emissions averages across the entire shipping industry, rather than comparing individual shipowner performance.

“In Paris, the community of states reached a consensus in December on climate protection targets within national borders – now the IMO member states have adopted the same policy for vessels sailing the global seas,” said Nagel. “The fact that all states on the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) have adopted the mandatory CO2 data collection policy despite the controversial discussion involved once again underscores the ability of the IMO to act as a global legislator for maritime shipping.”