As the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO’s) 77th Marine and Environment Protection Committee (MEPC77) meeting draws to a close, many have been left disappointed at the lack of progress made.
Occurring so soon after the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, the MEPC77 meeting took place amid a significant level of public pressure for shipping to increase its climate target. Despite this, there was very little discussion of proposed market-based measures (MBMs) to reduce shipping emissions.
The International Chamber of Shipping secretary-general Guy Platten has expressed his disappointment that commitments made by governments at COP26 have not been translated into action.
Although talks were challenging, no MBM proposals were dismissed entirely and so will carry over to the MEPC78 from June 6-10 2022. Nevertheless, recurring objections from Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, India, the UAE and developing countries mean all still face political barriers to agreement.
A proposal for a $2-a-tonne fuel levy to raise $5bn for green research and development over the course of 10 years received praise, but did face tough questioning on its structure and governance. The R&D fund is thought to be the only measure ready for agreement and, according to Mr Platten, must be taken forward soon.
On Friday 26 November, the MEPC passed a non-binding resolution urging ships to utilise cleaner fuels in / near the Arctic so as to reduce black carbon pollution. Black carbon emissions darken Arctic ice, which in turn makes it melt more quickly. The Clean Arctic Alliance has welcomed the resolution.
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