Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Ships

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In 2018, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted an initial strategy on the reduction of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions from ships, setting out their Vision, which confirms the IMO’s commitment to reducing and eventually phasing out GHG emissions from international shipping. The IMO’s Vision also intends to support United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals 13 (Climate Action) and 14 (Life Below Water).

Shipping plays a major role in the transportation of goods across the world and forms the backbone of the world economy. Approximately 80% of global trade by volume is carried by sea. The Fourth IMO GHG Study 2020 estimates that the international shipping sector accounts for an estimated 2.89% of the global GHG emissions.

As per the initial strategy adopted, the IMO has set out ‘Levels of Ambition’ as below –

  • Carbon intensity of the ship to decline through implementation of further phases of the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) for new ships – to review with the aim to strengthen the energy efficiency design requirements for ships with the percentage improvement for each phase to be determined for each ship type, as appropriate;
  • Carbon intensity of international shipping to decline – to reduce CO2 emissions per transport work, as an average across international shipping, by at least 40% by 2030, pursuing efforts towards 70% by 2050, compared to 2008; and
  • GHG emissions from international shipping to peak and decline – GHG emissions from international shipping to peak as soon as possible, followed by a reduction in the total annual GHG emissions by at least 50% by 2050 compared to 2008. Whilst also pursuing efforts towards phasing them out, as called for in the IMO’s Vision as a point on a pathway of CO2 emissions reduction, which is consistent with the Paris Agreement temperature goals.

To assist Members with their efforts toward building a cleaner and greener shipping industry, and to navigate through the various industry measures being implemented, the Club has produced a series of articles below: