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Third Intersessional Working Group on GHG Emissions from Ships


​The Intersessional Meeting made steady progress in considering the development of suitable Market-Based Measure (MBMs).  It reviewed the proposed MBMs by grouping them and evaluating the groups, analysing the MBMs relations to relevant conventions and rules and by evaluating the MBMs impacts on, amongst others, international trade, the maritime sector of developing countries and the environment.

The Intersessional Meeting agreed to group MBM proposals (on in-sector; and in-sector and out-of-sector) and that no incompatibilities existed between IMO establishing an MBM for international shipping, for the purpose of reducing GHG emissions from the sector, and customary international law as depicted in UNCLOS.  However, there were some mixed opinions on the need and purpose of an MBM and whether an MBM for international shipping under IMO was compatible with the WTO Rules and the UNFCCC Rules and Principles.
 
Moreover, the Intersessional Meeting also agreed that a further impact study was urgently needed, that it should build on the MBM Expert Group study, and should address both the positive and negative impacts for developing countries, including possible costs if no action was taken by international shipping.  It also agreed also that further studies would be more meaningful and comprehensive when proposals are more detailed and matured, and it therefore urged MBM proponents to fully develop their proposals in the shortest possible time, preferably before the 62nd session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) (July 2011), so that the necessary impact study could be undertaken, ideally prior to MEPC 63 (February/March 2012). 
 
To sum up, the Intersessional Meeting held extensive exchange of views on issues related to the desirability of MBMs providing: certainty in emissions reductions or carbon price; revenues for mitigation, adaptation and capacity building activities in developing countries; incentives for technological and operational improvements in shipping; and offsetting opportunities.  Based on such policy considerations, the Intersessional Meeting reported to
MEPC 62 in accordance to its Terms of Reference, related to: the grouping of the MBMs; the strengths and weaknesses of the groups; their relation to relevant international conventions; and the aforementioned possible impacts.  The report of the Intersessional Meeting was submitted to
MEPC 62 with the aim of assisting the Committee on which MBM to bring forward as a possible mandatory IMO instrument, so that the Committee could, in line with the MEPC 59 work plan, report progress to the twenty-seventh session of the Assembly.
 
MEPC 62, due to time constraints, could not consider the working group’s advice and agreed to continue its consideration of MBMs at the next session (MEPC 63, February/March 2012).
 

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