MEPC 76 has concluded, and the Norwegian Shipowners' Association is left hugely disappointed with the results and the IMO's lack of leadership. International regulation is vital to avoid a "regional patchwork" of rules, says CEO Harald Solberg to ShippingWatch.
Expectations for IMO's role as a regulator of climate action in shipping are at an all-time low following the outcome of negotiations in the environmental committee MEPC. NGOs and shipowners criticize the outcome, with varying degrees of pointed remarks.
In a comment on the MEPC meeting, Maersk heavily criticizes the lack of results and lack of clarity and logic inherent to the results that were adopted on the meeting. The container line had expected much more.
Not least Norwegian and Danish shipping companies are left empty-handed after the 76th session of the IMO's environmental committee MEPC – proclaimed as the meeting that could not afford to fail – but has now ended.
The IMO's 2030 plan is drawing fierce criticism from operators and maritime leaders, all agreeing that the deal in no way contributes enough to reduce the level of carbon emissions. The IMO is past its prime as a regulator, says maritime senior executive.
Brazil, India, Russia, China and Saudi-Arabia have succeeded in insisting on a carbon plan that several nations and green NGOs have describe as utterly unambitious. The MEPC meetings are thus far characterized by severe disagreement and organizational chaos.
Through to Monday, the IMO's Maritime Environment Protection Committee will deal with climate issues that divide member nations around the world: How can shipping contribute to the reduction of carbon emissions by 2030? ShippingWatch outlines the most likely scenario.
Norwegian Shipowners' Association aims criticism at the Norwegian IMO delegation's lack of support for the proposal of a research fund discussed at the MEPC meeting this week. "We are very disappointed", says CEO Harald Solberg.
The surprise announcement from Maersk CEO Søren Skou regarding the pricing on carbon emissions has received lukewarm reception from other shipping owners. Many attribute the frustration with IMO's footdragging to be one of the reasons for his statement.
Norway approves of the controversial carbon calculator that many in shipping have accused of penalizing CO2-efficient shipping companies. In an interview with ShippingWatch, the Norwegian delegation discusses its stance ahead of next week's assembly of the Marine Environment Protection Committee.
The IMO seems to support a proposal only to limit the carbon intensity in shipping with 11 percent by 2026. "We share the frustrations of many member states," Maersk says. Bimco, however, believes shipping is on track to meet its targets.
The IMO's work to decarbonize shipping is met with harsh criticism from NGO's following the preparatory meeting last week, which resulted in an agreement to raise carbon intensity by 11 percent toward 2026.
Before the EU presents its proposal on CO2 quotas on July 14, and ahead of the IMO's decisive MEPC meeting a month before that, Denmark, Germany, France and Sweden now openly assert that fossil fuels must become more expensive.
The first concrete proposal for a global CO2 tax is in the works at the IMO, just as three of the world's major shipping organizations have turned on a dime and now call for a tax on emissions. Realistically, however, it will be several years before such a tax is introduced.
Transport & Environment does not find it realistic for shipping to meet the EU climate goal of reducing CO2 emissions by 55 percent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. "Theoretically, it is possible," says the NGO to ShippingWatch.
Although the upcoming climate requirements for shipping still remain unclear, including how to measure the efficiency of a ship, shipping majors such as Odfjell and Golden Ocean are well on their way to prep their fleets for the upcoming regulations, they tell ShippingWatch.
Shipowners are already reviewing their fleets, calculating how each vessel complies with the upcoming and rather complex EEXI-index. DNV GL tells ShippingWatch that upwards of 30,000 vessels may have to install or adjust technologies or switch fuels.
Euronav CEO Hugo de Stoop is disappointed with the result of the MEPC meeting, which he says can "allow people to do nothing". Asking German and Danish shipowners if the meeting went well, you get two completely different answers.
The ambitious nations did not come close to getting what they wanted. "But there was no appetite for more," says a source about the result reached by the MEPC committee, as the desire to just reach an agreement became decisive. The Getting to Zero coalition says this could impede the 2030 target of achieving emission-free ships.
The IMO just approved a proposal that sets out the methods shipping will use to lower its emissions in the short term. This happens despite criticism from, among others, several European countries. The approval is immediately met with criticism from NGOs.
Before IMO's secretary general, Kitack Lim, opens this week's decisive meetings in the MEPC to determine shipping's future CO2 strategy, frustrations and fears of a useless result – or even lack thereof – are spreading.
Seven European countries are hastily forming an alliance to secure a significantly more ambitious climate agreement at the MEPC meeting in ten days. Greece, Cyprus and Malta were not invited, and for a good reason.
This week, EU's member states approached a meeting in the IMO with the aim to increase the possibility of sanctioning vessels that do not reduce their short-term emissions. But the outcome of the meeting was disappointing and is criticized for postponing difficult discussions.