A delegation of MEPs participated in the 72th session of the Marine Environment Protection committee (MEPC72) of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in London this week.
MEPC parties agreed on Friday to commit to cut greenhouse gas emissions from the shipping sector by at least 50% by 2050.
“We welcome the commitment to decarbonize on the long term. But no action plan for immediate measures was taken, and these seem to be delayed to further meetings” said delegation co-chair José Inácio Faria (EPP, PT).
“The overall result is satisfactory but much more could have been achieved. Once again IMO had an opportunity to compromise and engage but the target was set at 50% reduction which was much less ambitious than it was called for, even if there is still a compromise to align, in the future, with the Paris Agreement goals” he said.
“What is at stake is to reach the Paris agreement objectives at the fastest pace possible. 21 years have passed since the Kyoto protocol was signed and IMO stays without a robust compromise for the protection of environment” said Mr Faria.
“A promising signal”
"The adoption of an initial greenhouse gas strategy is a promising signal that the IMO has realised it needs to contribute to the global efforts on climate” said delegation co-chair Jytte Guteland (S&D, SE).
“This is a welcome first step, but it falls short of what is needed. In order to align shipping emissions with the Paris Agreement, the IMO must take immediate action to curb emissions in the short- and medium-term. This requires firm policy measures but also tangible technology investments from industry. The European Parliament will continue to follow closely the forthcoming developments in the IMO and is ready to act to ensure that all sectors contribute to the Paris Agreement" she said.
The delegation is composed of MEPs José Inácio Faria (EPP, PT, Co-chair), Jytte Guteland (S&D, SE, Co-chair) and Dubravka Šuica (EPP, HR). MEPs met shipping industry and NGO representatives, IMO Secretary General Kitack Lim, MEPC Chair Hideaki Saito, representatives from major flag states, and participated in working groups and MEPC72 plenary meetings.
As co-legislator with the EU Member States, the European Parliament passed legislation on the monitoring, reporting and verification (so-called “MRV regulation”) of maritime greenhouse gas emissions. The regulation entered into force in July 2015, and became operational in 2018.
When introducing the MRV proposal in 2013, the European Commission indicated that a reduction target and implementing measures, including market-based measures (MBMs), would follow.