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IMO moving ahead with goal-based approach to reducing GHG emissions

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is moving ahead with a goal-based approach to reducing GHG emissions, but mandatory speed limits appear to have failed to gain support.

The IMO said the Intersessional Working Group on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships, which met last week, had made “significant progress”.

The meeting discussed both technical and operational approaches. On the technical side it looked at the Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI), which could require ships to meet set energy efficiency requirements. On the operational front discussions included focusing on strengthening the ship energy efficiency management plan, as required in SEEMP, as well as measures to include measures to optimize speed for the voyage, while IMO said a limit to ship speed was “also discussed”.

“There was general agreement in the group that a mandatory goal-based approach for both the technical and operational approaches would provide the needed flexibility and incentive for innovation (a goal-based approach would set the objective to be achieved, while leaving room for a range of methods or innovation to achieve the set goal),” the IMO said.

Operational and technical approaches are to be developed in parallel.

A resolution on National Action Plans will be put to the next MEPC meeting on 30 March – 3 April 2020 and would urge member states to develop and update a voluntary National Action Plan (NAP) with a view to contributing to reducing GHG emissions from international shipping.

The NAP would include effective implementation of existing IMO instruments, developing activities to further enhance the energy efficiency of ships, and initiating research and advancing the uptake of alternative low-carbon and zero-carbon fuels.

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