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IMO sec-gen calls on all maritime industry sectors to be involved meeting GHG emission targets

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International Maritime Organization (IMO) secretary-general Kitack Lim has called on all sectors of the maritime industry to be involved in achieving the ambitious Greenhouse Gas (GHG) cuts set for the industry last year.

Last year the IMO set a target to reduce CO2 emissions from shipping by at least 50% in 2050. This means that the not just shipping companies need to be involved but also related businesses such as ports.

“We need to focus on technology transfer and research and development; we need expertise; we need IMO’s Member States to come together as one; we need the Member States to bring forward concrete proposals to IMO. We need to involve all maritime sectors – not just shipping. Investment in port infrastructure is just as important,” Lim told the High Level Conference on Climate Change and Oceans Preservation, in Brussels, Belgium, this week.

Initial steps to achieving the IMO’s goals will likely include use of Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) and the Shipboard Energy Efficiency Management Plans (SEEMP) for ships, as well as gathering information under the fuel-oil data collection scheme.

As it stands the 2050 target cannot be achieved using existing technology and senior industry officials have highlighted the need to develop new technologies and fuel sources.

Read more: Revolution needed in marine propulsion to meet IMO's 50% greenhouse gas reduction target

It was noted that the global 2020 0.5% sulphur cap for marine fuel, “should be seen as not only a landmark development for the environment and human health but also as a proxy ‘carbon price’ – increasing the attractiveness of lower-carbon fuels or other means of propulsion for ships”.

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