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IMO speaks out on emissions trading

January 10 - Kitack Lim, secretary general of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), believes including international shipping in the European Union's Emission Trading System (EU-ETS) could undermine global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissio

In a letter to Martin Schulz (president of the European Parliament), Jean-Claude Juncker (president of the European Commission) and Donald Tusk (president of the European Council), Lim cautioned against extending the EU-ETS to include ships.

Lim said, "I am concerned that a final decision to extend the EU-ETS to shipping emissions would not only be premature but would seriously impact on the work of IMO to address GHG emissions from international shipping."

According to Lim, IMO's leadership and role as the global body for developing and implementing requirements for international shipping, places the organisation as the only appropriate body to take this work forward.

Lim claims that the IMO can achieve the necessary political cooperation of all governments represented at IMO, including EU Member States. He added: "Such political cooperation is important to ensure that all countries act together to ensure that no one is left behind."

Lim said that, in his view, unilateral or regional action that conflicts with or undermines actions that have been carefully considered and deliberated by the global community at IMO would harm the goals of the wider international community to mitigate global GHG emissions from ships.

Lim's intervention follows an agreement on December 16, 2016 by the European Parliament's Environment Committee that emissions from ships should be included in the EU-ETS from 2023, if the IMO does not deliver a further global measure to reduce GHG emissions for international shipping by 2021.

In October 2016, IMO adopted a system for collecting data on ships' fuel-oil consumption which will be mandatory and will apply globally.

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