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ICS DECIDES ON PUSH FOR RAPID CO2 REDUCTION ACTION

Tuesday, June 18, 2019 

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) reports that although its 2019 Annual General Meeting in the Faroe Islands was overshadowed by the attacks against two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, the delegates agreed a suite of actions to support of the IMO debarbonisation strategy.

ICS Chairman, Esben Poulsson said: "It is imperative that IMO Member States adopt a new global regulation to mandate further short term CO2 reduction measures at the next session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee in 2020.  This should deliver further CO2 reductions by 2023 to help us meet the IMO target set for 2030.  We will work with a broad coalition of governments to produce a comprehensive proposal that can be submitted to IMO in September this year. The core of this proposal will be the Super SEEMP concept, whereby shipping companies globally will have to demonstrate they are doing absolutely everything possible to reduce fuel consumption, strictly enforced via flag state audits of Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plans.  But we also agreed to incorporate elements of the many other good proposals made by governments at the last round of IMO discussions on CO2 reduction in May."

The meeting confirmed the vital importance of research and development of zero-carbon fuels and propulsion systems that will be necessary to achieve the ambitious IMO target of cutting shipping’s total GHG emissions by 50% by 2050 regardless of maritime trade growth, and continuing to work with other industry stakeholders to accelerate this.

ICS members reiterated their commitment to the successful implementation of the IMO global sulphur cap from 1 January 2020, noting ICS's plans to revise its comprehensive guidance to shipowners on ensuring compliance, to take account of recent IMO decisions.  This is notwithstanding continuing uncertainty about the worldwide availability of safe and compliant low sulphur fuels, and the operational challenges associated with using new 0.5% max. sulphur blends.

Poulsson said: "Our meeting welcomed the decision of the IMO Maritime Safety Committee last week, at which ICS led shipowner representation, to adopt an MSC Resolution addressing safety and fuel quality issues associated with the sulphur cap."

ICS remains concerned about continuing delays with the publication of the latest ISO Publicly Available Specification for low sulphur fuels, and related quality and safety issues where  control depends on these standards being quickly finalised and distributed, given that the industry is only six months away from full global implementation.

The meeting elected Lasse Kristoffersen (Norway) as a new ICS Vice Chairman, serving alongside John Adams (Bahamas), Emanuele Grimaldi (Italy) and Mark Martecchini (Liberia) in support of Chairman, Esben Poulsson (Singapore).

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