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Environmental NGOs call for tougher CII penalties and higher standards

Photo: IMO Nation state flags fly at IMO building
As another round of critical discussions on shipping regulation get underway at the IMO, environmental organisations have called for action on fuel standards, an emissions levy, and CII improvements.

The IMO’s Intersessional Working Group on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships IWSG runs March 11-15 and is followed by the 81st meeting of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 81) on March 18-22.

The Clean Shipping Coalition (CSC), an association of environmental groups with a focus on shipping, laid out its desired outcomes from the meetings, including a revision of the Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII). CSC, Pacific Environment and WWF have submitted a paper to MEPC which calls for a ramp up in CII requirements to bring it in line with the IMO’s revised GHG strategy.

The group wants to position CII to contribute to a cut in climate emissions by bringing a swift end to the initial soft enforcement period of the regulation and raising what the coalition sees as low energy efficiency improvement targets. Raising enforcement levels will help to ensure emissions reductions are real and reliable, and there will need to be real consequences for failing to comply, said CSC.

“From 2027 the CII must be in a position to play a major role, alongside the proposed goal-based fuel standard (GFS) and other mid-term measures, in driving the urgently needed ship climate emission reductions,” said CSC.

The organisations also encouraged the adoption of global standards for fuel/energy in shipping to give the certainty needed to support investment in wind power, and the production and use of zero emissions fuels.

“Shipping’s climate transition is intricately linked to the speed and the scale of investments in green energy, like green methanol and ammonia, in renewables-rich countries. However, no sane investor will put their money into green fuels production until there is demand from the shipping sector. Therefore, it is imperative that IMO develops ambitious and effective green fuel standard and carbon pricing to send investment certainties for future suppliers,” , said Faig Abassov, Director, Shipping, at Transport and Environment. 

The group supports a greenhouse gas levy on shipping to charge polluters for emissions.

“A fee of $150/ton of pollution, as proposed by Pacific Island states and Belize, would incentivise greater efficiency and uptake of zero-emission energy and generate funds that can be invested in sector research and development and, most important, in ensuring an equitable transition that leaves no country behind,” said Delaine McCullough, Shipping Emissions Policy Manager at Ocean Conservancy.