Market-based measures for greenhouse gases from ships on
agenda as IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee
London, February 22, 2012 - Market-based
measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from international
shipping will be among the key items on the agenda of the Marine
Environment Protection Committee of the International Maritime
Organization (IMO), when it meets for its 63rd session from 27
February to 2 March 2012, at IMO Headquarters in London.
IMO - the International Maritime
Organization - is the United Nations specialized agency with
responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the
prevention of marine pollution by ships
The MEPC will continue to consider a number of proposals for
market-based measures to assist the reduction of greenhouse gas
emissions from international shipping.
This follows the adoption, in July 2011, of amendments to MARPOL
Annex VI Regulations for the prevention of air pollution from
ships, to add a new chapter 4 to Annex VI on Regulations on energy
efficiency for ships to make mandatory the Energy Efficiency Design
Index (EEDI), for new ships, and the Ship Energy Efficiency
Management Plan (SEEMP) for all ships.
Emissions from shipping are considered a significant source
of air pollution, responsible for 18 to 30 percent of
all nitrogen oxide and 9 percent of sulphur
oxide pollution. A 2009 study estimated that in one year, a
single large container ship can emit cancer and asthma-causing
pollutants equivalent to that of 50 million cars.
The Committee will consider the report of an intersessional
meeting of the Working Group on GHG Emissions from Ships, which met
in March 2011 to consider suitable market-based measures to
reduce GHG emissions from international shipping.
This follows the submission of a comprehensive report by an
Expert Group, which had carried out a feasibility study and impact
assessment of several possible market-based
measures submitted by Governments and observer
The intersessional group held an extensive exchange of views on
issues related to, among other things, the desirability of
market-based measures providing: certainty in
emission reductions or carbon price; revenues for mitigation,
adaptation and capacity-building activities in developing
countries; incentives for technical and operational improvements in
shipping; and offsetting opportunities.
The low grade bunker fuel used by
the worlds 90,000 cargo ships contains up to 2,000 times the amount
of sulphur compared to diesel fuel used in
The proposals under review range from a contribution or levy on
all CO2 emissions from international shipping or only from those
ships not meeting the EEDI requirement, via emission trading
systems, to schemes based on a ship's actual efficiency, both by
design (EEDI) and operation (SEEMP).
The Committee will consider three sets of draft guidelines
intended to assist in the implementation of the Regulations on
Energy Efficiency for Ships in MARPOL Annex VI.
The draft guidelines were developed by the intersessional
meeting of the Working Group on Energy Efficiency Measures for
Ships, which met in January 2012. Work on developing EEDI
frameworks for those ships that are not covered by the current EEDI
formula will also be progressed.
The Committee is expected to outline future work on
this matter, including further in-depth examination of the impact
of market-based measures on world trade and sustainable
development and possible impacts on developing countries as well as
their consumers and industries.
The Committee will also continue its consideration of
matters relating to the availability of fuel oil to meet the
requirements set out in MARPOL Annex VI.