After two weeks' intensive debate in the International Maritime Organization (IMO) , steps have been taken towards specific measures to reduce shipping's greenhouse gas emissions, says a statement from Danish Maritime Authority (DMA).
However, difficult negotiations lie ahead in order to reach the necessary milestones.
Last year, United Nations International Maritime Organization (IMO) decided that a final climate strategy should be adopted in 2023. As one important milestone in this connection, an initial climate strategy for the shipping industry should be ready in 2018. Now, a working group established by the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) has begun negotiations hereon.
At the recently held session of the MEPC, agreement was reached about a number of main elements of the strategy. Furthermore, negotiations on specific measures to reduce emissions from the shipping industry have begun.
Director General Andreas Nordseth from the Danish Maritime Authority says: "I am pleased that the IMO has shown its capacity to act and is now engaged in the work developing a climate strategy for the shipping industry. We have been striving for progress and final outputs for a long time."
"But, it is of the utmost importance that we get global solutions and that requires broad debate and negotiations and it takes time. Therefore, we are very pleased about this first specific step. The road is still long, but it is an important step forward that the framework for a strategy is now in place," Andreas added.
The IMO has, inter alia, made a rough list of specific measures which may form the basis of future work, and which includes a strengthening of existing requirements for ships' energy efficiency as well as further research on the use of alternative fuels.
One of the main elements to be included in the work at an extraordinary meeting to be held in the IMO this October is the level of ambition for the initial strategy.
Andreas Nordseth says: "We, on the Danish side, will take an active part in future work, and we consider it of the utmost importance that regulations on shipping's greenhouse gas emissions are global and flag neutral and, not least, that it is possible to implement and enforce them effectively."
Recognising the comprehensive load of work that remains to be done in the IMO, it has been decided to hold an extraordinary meeting in October 2017 about the initial strategy.