Transparency International released the report "Governance at the International Maritime Organisation: The Case for Reform", in which it highlights several transparency and accountability flaws that could challenge the IMO’s ability to deliver on its own climate goals in reducing carbon emissions.
The report presents key policy issues and recommendations that the IMO has to address in order to meet international standards for transparency, accountability, and integrity.
Rueben Lifuka, vice chair of Transparency International said:
"In order for the IMO to meet its ambitious goals to reduce shipping emissions, several things need to change. Our biggest recommendation is to transform the IMO’s accountability policies, which are currently hindering policymaking and leaving the agency susceptible to private influence. While the IMO’s initial strategy adopted in April is a big step forward for the international shipping sector, more must be done to ensure the agency meets its targets."
Currently if not dealt with properly, shipping emissions could increase from about 2.5% to 17% by 2050. However, to redeuce the rise in global temperatures by one-and-a-half-degree, as the Paris Agreement says, some research suggests that this number must actually reach zero by 2050.
Nevertheless, IMO could under-deliver its targets, Transparency International said. The report found specific flaws in the IMO governance structure, such as a disproportionate influence of private industry over the IMO and an unequal influence of certain Member States in the policymaking process. In addition, there is an increase in privately-operated registries in states that serve as tax havens and a lack of delegate accountability.
Under these concerns, Transparency International called the IMO to take the following measures:
- Open dialogue with civil society, industry and other key stakeholders to improve transparency and remove current restrictions on journalists covering IMO meetings and speakers.
- Ensure decision-making processes are transparent and reflect the public interest by developing rules for the appointment of Member State delegations and third-party representatives.
- Ensure decision-makers are subject to integrity rules by expanding the mandate of the Internal Oversight and Ethics Office to detect and investigate potential breaches in the code of conduct and provide subsequent sanctions, if necessary, or refer to national authorities. In addition, extend the IMO’s whistleblowing and complaint policies to include Member State representatives.