INTERCARGO welcomes the landmark initial strategy for the reduction of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) from ships adopted by IMO.
We firmly believe that IMO is the appropriate body to address the global challenge of GHG emissions, as the competent authority to do so. Shipping is the most efficient transportation mode and, moreover, its regulatory body, the IMO, was the first to address GHG emissions by adopting technical and operational requirements for new and existing vessels with global application as early as 2011. It is disappointing that we have witnessed the demonstration of regional and insufficient thinking outside the IMO framework in the meantime.
The ambitious objectives that have been set will require adequate technological solutions, as our Association has argued many times thus far. GHG emissions largely depend on the design and the technology of the constructed ships, their engines and machinery, and the fuels used for propulsion. Shipowners are the users of the ships and the technologies they feature, as made available by shipbuilders and manufacturers, and utilising the fuels made available by suppliers; another critical aspect is that very often it is the charterers who have the responsibility about how vessels are utilised. Yet, it is certain that our Members – the Dry Bulk Shipowners – will embrace and fully support any competitive technological solutions with better GHG footprint that will be made available to the market, as they have done in the past.
The IMO Member States, representing both developed and developing countries, had the responsibility of agreeing on the high-level GHG emissions reduction strategy at IMO, comprising a Vision, Levels of Ambition and Guiding Principles, in what continues as an on-going process; this is not an easy task, as for one thing at least their representatives should not fail to take into account the safety and practical issues affecting ships and any potential impact of the commitments they make on international trade.
With this in mind, we are fully supportive of IMO and its environmental objectives in this milestone agreement of an initial strategy for the reduction of GHG from ships and in our consultative role we will continue participating in the IMO process in setting ambitious yet also pragmatic goals securing a global level playing field for shipping.