Mid- and long-term GHG reduction measures


MEPC 76 (June 2021) approved the Work Plan to Progress development of mid- and long-term GHG reduction measures in line with the Initial IMO Strategy on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships and its Programme of follow-up actions. (download Work Plan here).

The Work Plan aims at supporting the achievement of the vision and the levels of ambition agreed in the Initial Strategy and consists of three main phases:

  • Phase I – Collation and initial consideration of proposals for measures in order to be able to understand and compare their main features and implications so as to identify the key issues to consider in relation to each proposed measure, along with considerations of their potential impacts on States in the application of Circular MEPC.1/Circ.885/Rev.1 on the Procedure for assessing Impacts on States of candidate measures. The timeframe for Phase 1 is spring 2021 to spring 2022. 

  • Phase II – Assessment and selection of measure(s) to further develop. Information from Phase I is to be built upon to select the measure(s) to further develop in as a priority. This decision will be based on an assessment of the proposed measures, in particular their feasibility, their effectiveness to deliver the long-term levels of ambition of the Initial Strategy and their potential impacts on States. The time period for Phase II is spring 2022 to spring 2023. Decisions on measures to develop as a priority may be taken in conjunction with the revision of the Initial Strategy.

  • Phase III – Development of (a) measure(s) to be finalized within (an) agreed target date(s). In the case of amending existing legal instruments, amendments will be prepared, as appropriate. In the case of developing a new legal instrument, a framework for consideration by the MEPC will be prepared in order to decide on the way forward. In order to support this process, a detailed outline of the framework supporting information and assessment of how the selected measure(s) will meet the long-term levels of ambition could be undertaken. Phase III target date(s) are to be agreed in conjunction with the IMO Strategy on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships.

The implementation of the Work Plan includes the assessment of impacts on States of the proposed measures in accordance with the Procedure for assessing impacts on States of candidate measures set out in Circular MEPC.1/Circ.885/Rev.1, taking into account the outcome of the lessons-learned exercise from the comprehensive impact assessment of the short-term measure. Once a measure is adopted and enacted, implementation and impacts will be kept under review, upon request from Member States, so that any necessary adjustments may be made.

ISWG-GHG 10 (18-22 October 2021) used Phase I of the Work Plan to guide its consideration of possible mid-term GHG reduction measures.

ISWG-GHG 12 (16-20 May 2022) considered in detail concrete proposals for mid- and long-term measures and associated impact assessments in the context of Phase I of the Work plan, including further consideration of those considered by ISWG GHG 10 and MEPC 77, as well as the proposal to establish an International Maritime Research Board.

MEPC 78 (6-10 June 2022) approved the further development under Phase II of the Work plan of a "basket of candidate mid-term GHG reduction measures", integrating both various technical and carbon pricing elements while recognizing the necessary flexibility. The Committee requested ISWG-GHG to continue to advance the development of the basket of candidate mid-term GHG reduction measures later this year.

Earlier discussions on proposals for market-based measures

A non-exhaustive summary of previous discussions on proposals for market-based measures which had taken place in the Organization is set out in document ISWG-GHG 12/INF.2