The International Maritime Organization's Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 72) meeting is now under way at the IMO headquarters in London, discussing the adoption of an initial greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction strategy.
The initial GHG strategy will provide a framework for all member states. It is expected to set out the future vision for international shipping, the levels of ambition to reduce GHG emissions and guiding principles.
Following discussions in an intercessional working group last week, the committee is expected to instruct a working group to finalise the strategy for adoption.
The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has welcomed the progress made by governments on a draft GHG reduction strategy. At the conclusion of the intercessional working group, ICS deputy secretary general, Simon Bennett, said: "What IMO has been attempting to negotiate is a Paris Agreement for the shipping industry. The enormous political challenges involved really cannot be exaggerated.
"But the goals now tentatively agreed by most governments for short-term efficiency improvement, and for mid-century GHG reduction by the sector as whole, should be sufficiently ambitious to provide the signal needed to stimulate the development of zero CO2 fuels, so we can collectively get on with the job of eliminating GHG emissions from shipping as soon as possible."
According to Bennett, some further fine-tuning of the strategy will be required by the MEPC. He added: "It is vital that those governments who are serious about helping shipping to reduce its CO2 remain loyal to the carefully crafted political package that has now been negotiated and that they refrain so far as possible from reopening major substantive issues - unless they wish to risk unravelling what will be a very significant climate deal."
MEPC 72 will also address the implementation of the 0.5 percent sulphur limit, as well as the implementation of the Ballast Water Management Convention, which entered into force in September 2017.