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IMO environmental meeting deliberates pollution issues

IMO environmental meeting deliberates pollution issues

The Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) met for its 58th session at IMO's London headquarters last week, achieving major progress on reducing emissions from ships and other environmental protection measures.
The MEPC unanimously adopted amendments to the MARPOL Annex VI regulations so as to reduce harmful emissions of air pollutants from ships even further. It also approved the draft ship recycling convention for adoption at a conference in 2009.
Other measures approved included technical and operational actions to reduce or limit greenhouse gas emissions from ships.
The main changes to MARPOL Annex VI would be a progressive reduction in emissions of sulphur oxide (SOx), nitrogen oxide (NOx) and particulate matters from ships.
The MEPC conducted an article-by-article and regulation-by-regulation review of the draft new convention providing globally applicable regulations for ship recycling. The text will now be circulated for consideration and adoption by a diplomatic conference to be held in Hong Kong from May 1 to 15, 2009.
In the context of the ongoing efforts of the international community to address the phenomena of climate chnage and global warming (in particular through the mechanisms of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)), and in the light of the mandate given to ships, the MEPC maintained momentum on the issue and made substantive progress in developing technical and operational measures to address such emissions.
The measures include the development of an energy efficiency design index for new ships and an energy efficiency operational index, with associated guidelines for both; an efficiency management plan suitable for all ships; and a voluntary code on best practice in energy efficient ship operations.
The Committee appoved the usage of the draft Intermim Guidelines on the method of calculation of the Energy Efficiency Design Index for new ships, for calculation/trial purposes with a view to further refinement and improvement.
For its deliberations on these matters, the Committee received information on phase 1 of the updating of the 2000 IMO Study on GHG emissions from ships, which estimated emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) from international shipping both from activity data and from international fuel statistics. The resulting consensus estimate for 2007 CO2 emissions from international shipping amounts to 843 million tons, or 2.7% of global CO2 emissions, as compared to the 1.8% estimate in the 2000 IMO study.
The Phase 1 updating estimated future emissions from international shipping based on global developments outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and, in the absence of future regulations on CO2 emissions from ships, such emissions were predicted in the base scenarios to increase by a factor of 2.4 to 3.0 by 2050. For 2020, the base scenario predicts increases ranging from 1.1 to 1.3, taking into account significant efficiency improvements resulting from expected long-term increases in energy prices.
Further work on the limitation and reduction of GHGs from ships will continue at an intersessional meeting early in 2009, for presentation to MEPC 59 in July, which will benefit from the findings of the second and final part of the update of the 2000 IMO study, MEPC said. The outcome of MEPC 59 will, in accordance with the Committee's established action plan, be presented to the United Nations conference on climate change to be held in Copenhagen in December of next year.
The MEPC further discussed the application of measures to reduce or limit greenhouse gas emissions from ships, in particular whether such measures should be mandatory or voluntary for all States.


Updated : 2021-04-15 16:18 GMT+08:00