IMO Adopts Revised Plan To Cut Shipping Emissions

IMO Adopts Revised Plan To Cut Shipping Emissions - Carbon Herald
Image: Pres Panayotov/Shutterstock

The 175 member states of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) unanimously adopted a revised plan to reduce global shipping emissions. 

The 2023 IMO GHG Strategy was approved on July 7 after a series of talks at the Marine Environment Protection Committee in London. The revised plan includes an upgraded target to reach net zero emissions from global shipping “close to 2050”. 

One strategy to accomplish this goal includes promoting the adoption of clean or low-carbon fuel alternatives, with the objective of achieving a 5–10% share of non-fossil fuel sources in the industry’s energy composition by the end of this decade.

The International Maritime Organization member countries also agreed to reduce the CO2 intensity of shipping by at least 40% by 2030 compared to 2008. This will include a total annual reduction within the sector of 20%-30% by the end of this decade and 70–80% by 2040.

Relevant: All Ships Must Meet New Energy Requirements By 2023

“The adoption of the 2023 IMO Greenhouse Gas Strategy opens a new chapter towards maritime decarbonization,” said IMO secretary-general Kitack Lim.  “At the same time, it is not the end goal, it is in many ways a starting point for the work that needs to intensify even more over the years and decades ahead of us.”

Since the start of this year, there has been increasing pressure to implement a carbon levy on the international shipping sector. The funds generated from taxing CO2 emissions could be allocated toward climate mitigation and adaptation efforts. The World Bank estimates that a global shipping carbon tax has the potential to generate $40 billion to $60 billion annually. While the International Maritime Organization (IMO) postponed final decisions on a carbon levy, the concluding talks did not completely dismiss the idea. 

Despite the tightened emissions reduction targets outlined in the revised strategy, environmental activists were disappointed over the lack of specificity in the commitment to achieve net zero by 2050 and about potentially conservative emissions targets for 2030. 

Read more: World Bank Report Makes The Case For Shipping Carbon Tax

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