In pursuing its mission – safe, secure and efficient shipping on clean oceans – IMO works vigorously and consistently towards developing a comprehensive regulatory regime aimed at protecting the marine environment.
IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) considers as an integral part of its agenda actions to address greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from ships engaged in international trade. MEPC's Working Group on Reduction of GHG emissions from ships met for its sixth intersessional meeting (ISWG-GHG 6) at IMO Headquarters in London, from 11 to 15 November 2019, with the participation of nearly 400 representatives from 67 Member States, as well as representatives from the UNFCCC, the European Commission, the League of Arab States and 25 non-governmental organizations.
IMO Assembly, the Organization's supreme body, adopted during its 30th session in December 2017, a strategic direction entitled "Respond to Climate Change".
The Initial IMO Strategy on reduction of GHG emissions from ships (the Initial Strategy) adopted in April 2018 identified that short-term measures should be finalized and agreed by the MEPC between 2018 and 2023, in parallel with assessment of their potential impact on States.
ISWG-GHG 6 made significant progress towards helping to achieve the levels of ambition set out in the Initial Strategy, which aims, as a matter of urgency, to phase out GHG emissions from international shipping as soon as possible in this century.
It is against this backdrop that IMO will participate in the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 25) in Madrid, Spain, starting on 2 December 2019. An update of IMO's work to address GHG emissions from fuel used for international shipping will be provided to the fifty-first session of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA 51) under agenda item 10(e) – "Emissions from fuel used for international aviation and maritime transport".
IMO will provide information on its role as the international shipping regulator through an official submission, a statement note to SBSTA 51, and by participating in various side events.
IMO's objectives for COP 25
IMO's main objectives for the Madrid Climate Change Conference (COP 25) are:
- in all communications seek to make clear that international shipping is indispensable to the world and is a vital industry to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals; and
- in all communications seek to make clear that, as its track record to date so clearly demonstrates, IMO is the appropriate international body to continue work to address GHG emissions from ships engaged in international trade.