Countries have agreed to curb shipping emissions to net zero “by or around 2050” at IMO MEPC 80

2 months ago

The 80th session of the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 80) adopted a revised GHG Strategy.

The revised strategy aims to significantly curb GHG emissions from international shipping. The new targets include a 20% reduction in emissions by 2030, a 70% reduction by 2040 (compared to 2008 levels), and the ultimate goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

New regulations are expected to enter into force around mid-2027.

The ambitions for international shipping were significantly strengthened from the 50% GHG reduction ambition by 2050 in the initial strategy.

The revised strategy now aims for reducing well-to-wake GHG emissions by 20%, striving for 30% in 2030 and then 70%, striving for 80%, in 2040 compared to 2008, and reach net-zero “by or around close to, 2050”.

There is also a 2030 target to achieve an uptake of zero or near-zero GHG emissions technologies, fuels and/or energy sources, representing at least 5%, striving for 10%, of the energy used by international shipping.

The GHG Strategy now also addresses life-cycle GHG emissions from shipping, with the overall objective of reducing GHG emissions within the boundaries of the energy system of international shipping and preventing a shift of emissions to other sectors.

Mid and long-term measures to reduce GHG emissions to ensure that shipping reaches these ambitions, the IMO has decided to implement a basket of measures consisting of two parts; Firstly, a technical element which will be a goal-based marine fuel standard regulating the phased reduction of marine fuel GHG intensity; Secondly, an economic element which will be some form of a maritime GHG emissions pricing mechanism, potentially linked directly to the GHG intensity mechanism.

The development of the measures will continue at the IMO and will, according to the agreed timeline, be adopted in 2025 and enter into force in around mid-2027.

Kitack Lim, Secretary-General of the IMO, described the deal as a “monumental development that opens a new chapter towards maritime decarbonization”.

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