IMO at COP 22 – Nov 07, 2016

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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) has for some time now been considering, as an integral part of its agenda, actions to address greenhouse gas (GHG) emission from ships engaged in international trade. It met for its 69th session (MEPC 69) from 18 to 22 April 2016, at IMO Headquarters in London, with the participation of 96 Member States, two associate members, two United Nations bodies, four intergovernmental organizations and 44 non‑governmental organizations.

MEPC 69 welcomed the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and recognized it as a major achievement by the international community. It also unanimously recognized IMO's own role in mitigating the impact of GHG emissions from international shipping and acknowledged the current efforts and the measures already introduced by IMO to enhance the energy efficiency of ships.

MEPC 70 continued to demonstrate the Organization's commitment to climate change mitigation by adopting amendments to chapter 4 of MARPOL Annex VI, requiring ships to record and report their fuel oil consumption and additional data on proxies for the "transport work" undertaken by the ship. This requirement is expected to enter into force in early 2018. The establishment of the IMO Ship Fuel Oil Consumption Database is the first in a three-step approach in which analysis of the data collected (second step) would provide the basis for an objective, transparent and inclusive policy debate in the MEPC (third step).

MEPC 70 also approved a roadmap for developing a "Comprehensive IMO strategy on reduction of GHG emissions from ships".

IMO is also continuing its efforts with regard to technical co-operation and capacity-building to ensure effective implementation and enforcement of the aforementioned regulations worldwide and, importantly, activities to support the implementation of resolution MEPC.229(65) on Promotion of technical co-operation and transfer of technology relating to the improvement of energy efficiency of ships.

It is against this backdrop that IMO will participate in the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 22/CMP 12) in Marrakech, Morocco, starting on 7 November 2016. An update of IMO's work to address GHG emissions from bunker fuels used for international shipping will be provided to the forty-five session of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA 45) under agenda item 10(b) – 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 45, and by participating in side events, including a UN systems event on Tuesday, 8 November at 18:30 (Room Austral) for SDG9: Sustainable Industrialization and International Transport.

IMO's objectives for COP 22/CMP 12

IMO's main objectives for the Marrakech Conference (COP 22/CMP 12) are: 

  • In all communications seek to make clear that international shipping is indispensable to the world and is a vital industry to support and sustain today's global society;
  • 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 greenhouse gas emissions from ships engaged in international trade;
  • In all communications seek to make clear that international shipping regulations are applied to all ships, not States, according to the non-discriminatory principle on which the IMO regulatory framework is based; and
  • The interests of developing countries, and in particular, SIDs and LDCs, are fully taken into account.

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