Market-based measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping will be among the key items on the agenda of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), when it meets for its 63rd session from 27 February to 2 March 2012, at IMO Headquarters in London.
The MEPC will also discuss issues relating to the implementation of the ship recycling and ballast water management conventions and consider the adoption of amendments to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) relating to reception facilities in Small Island Developing States.
Market-based measures to address the reduction of GHGs
The MEPC will continue to consider a number of proposals for market-based measures (MBMs), to assist the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping.
This follows the adoption, in July 2011, of amendments to MARPOL Annex VI Regulations for the prevention of air pollution from ships, to add a new chapter 4 to Annex VI on Regulations on energy efficiency for ships to make mandatory the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI), for new ships, and the Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP) for all ships.
The Committee will have, for its consideration, the report of an inter-sessional meeting of the Working Group on GHG Emissions from Ships, which met in March 2011 to consider suitable MBMs to reduce GHG emissions from international shipping. This follows the submission to the MEPC of a comprehensive report by an Expert Group, which had carried out a feasibility study and impact assessment of several possible MBMs submitted by Governments and observer organizations.
The inter-sessional group held an extensive exchange of views on issues related to, among other things, the desirability of MBMs providing: certainty in emission reductions or carbon price; revenues for mitigation, adaptation and capacity-building activities in developing countries; incentives for technical and operational improvements in shipping; and offsetting opportunities.
The MEPC is expected to outline future work by the Organization on this matter, including, as identified by the Working Group, further in-depth examination of the impact of MBMs on world trade and sustainable development and, in particular, the possible impacts on developing countries as well as their consumers and industries.
The MBM proposals under review range from a contribution or levy on all CO2 emissions from international shipping or only from those ships not meeting the EEDI requirement, via emission trading systems, to schemes based on a ship’s actual efficiency, both by design (EEDI) and operation (SEEMP).
Guidelines for the implementation of the mandatory energy efficiency measures
The MEPC will consider three sets of draft guidelines intended to assist in the implementation of the Regulations on Energy Efficiency for Ships in MARPOL Annex VI. The draft guidelines were developed by the inter-sessional meeting of the Working Group on Energy Efficiency Measures for Ships, which met in January 2012. Work on developing EEDI frameworks for those ships that are not covered by the current EEDI formula will also be progressed
The MEPC will also consider, with a view to adoption, an MEPC resolution on technology transfer and the development of alternative technologies to enable all Member States to meet the challenge of implementing the new Chapter 4 of MARPOL Annex VI.
Air pollution from ships
The report of the Correspondence Group on the Review of the Status of the Technological Developments to Implement the Tier III NOx Emissions Standard will be brought to the attention of MEPC 63.
The MEPC will also continue its consideration of matters relating to the availability of fuel oil to meet the requirements set out in MARPOL Annex VI.
NOx technical code amendments
The MEPC will be invited to adopt draft amendments to the NOx Technical Code 2008, relating to certification of marine diesel engines fitted with selective catalytic reduction systems.