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Russia's controversial NOx proposal nearing collapse

According to ShippingWatch's sources, Russia's proposed postponement of the NOx emission requirements from 2016 to 2021 is close to being averted at this week's IMO meeting. Alternatives are currently being discussed.

Photo: SHELL

Russia is losing support in the ongoing dispute concerning the implementation of the NOx requirements, a topic that has characterized the international environmental debate in recent years, several sources tell ShippingWatch about the events taking place at the meeting of the IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) - currently being held in London this week.

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At the MEPC meeting in the spring of 2013, Russia secured support from several countries for its proposal to push the implementation date of the NOx requirements to 2021, arguing that the necessary technology was not yet available in the market. Several countries and organizations have since then lobbied to change this decision, and now it looks like these efforts might have worked.

What stands to replace the Russian proposal will be decided during this week. According to one source, the likely outcome will be a decision to discuss an alternative to the 2016 implementation date at the next MEPC meeting.

Several EU countries originally supported the Russian proposal, including several Baltic states such as Poland, though also major flag states such as Malta, Cyprus, and Greece.

In order to get the countries back in the fold, the EU Commission worked for a long time to secure a joint EU stance on the matter.

Denmark, along with countries including Japan, the Nordic countries, the United States, has insisted on keeping the original premise, calling for a 2016 implementation date.

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