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IMO Sec-Gen claims ‘considerable progress’ at MEPC, mandatory efficiency rating agreed

Photo: IMO Flickr MEPC73-IMO-Sec-Gen-Lim.jpg
Kitack Lim at MEPC 73
The IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 76) meeting has agreed short term measures carbon intensity and efficiency ratings, but reached no conclusion on a proposed industry $100 per tonne C02 levy or industry R&D fund.

The MEPC 76 meeting produced the expected results on shipping’s decarbonization pathway agreeing previously proposed short term measures on the Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI) and carbon intensity indicator (CII), but making no further progress in terms of an R&D fund for new technologies or a proposal mandatory levy of $100 per tonne CO2 equivalent on heavy fuel oil. IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim stressed the lengthy and common nature of guiding shipping to a decarbonized future.

“The path to decarbonization is a long, but also a common path in which we need to consider and respect each other's views. We have made a considerable amount of progress since the start of our journey," Lim said, " … your progress will continue to provide the benefit of experience to be able to make ambitious, and evidence-based decisions for phase 3 of the implementation of the operational measure which will be further strengthened and developed taking into account the review of the short-term measure and the latest climate science."

Under the EEXI and CII measures ships will be rated on their energy efficiency from A (best) – E (worst). A ship rated D for three consecutive years, or E, is required to submit a corrective action plan, to show how the required index of C or above would be achieved.

The EEXI and CII will come into effect from 1 January 2023, with first annual reporting completed in 2023 and ratings given from 2024 onwards.

IMO said a proposal for mandatory levy of $100 per tonne carbon dioxide equivalent on heavy fuel oil will be further considered at the intersessional working group meeting. While discussions on an industry proposal to establish an International Maritime Research Board would resume at the next session.

"Concessions have been made on all sides in the interest of securing the framework we have in place. Our consideration of mid- and long-term measures will demand even more of us. I am very pleased that the Committee has agreed on a work plan to support carrying out this dimension of our work in a structured way that will keep the membership together," Lim said.

The lack of ambition of the short-term measures was highlighted by environmental organisations. “There is a lot to look forward from the IMO to in the months to come, although the lack of ambition on short term measures and on black carbon means that the impact of future measures must be even bolder and implemented quicker to reduce maritime shipping emissions at the scale needed,” said Aoife O'Leary, Director, International Climate, Environmental Defense Fund.

“The world must meet the temperature goals set by the Paris Agreement in order to prevent a climate catastrophe. The IMO meetings later this year are a great and timely opportunity for the Member States to step up and bring concrete, ambitious solutions to reduce the shipping industry’s climate impacts.”