In a move that some experts thought was unlikely, member states attending the International Maritime Organization’s Marine Environmental Protection Committee (MEPC 80) meeting in early July overcame their differences and adopted the 2023 IMO Strategy on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships.
Although the 2023 Strategy is not specifically aligned with a 1.5-degree centigrade target in 2050, it sets out significantly more ambitious waypoints between now and mid-century, meaning that the 1.5-degree pathway is now more clearly in reach than before.
The more ambitious framework includes a commitment to ensure uptake of alternative zero and near-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) fuels by 2030. It also sets out waypoints for 2030 - a 30% reduction in GHG emissions by then compared with 2008; and for 2040, an 80% reduction; and an overall ambition of reaching net-zero GHG emissions from international shipping as close to 2050 as possible.
IMO Secretary-General, Kitack Lim, declared: "The adoption of the 2023 IMO Greenhouse Gas Strategy is a monumental development for IMO and opens a new chapter towards maritime decarbonisation. At the same time, it is not the end goal, it is in many ways a starting point for the work that needs to intensify even more over the years and decades ahead of us.""However, with the Revised Strategy that you have now agreed on, we have a clear direction, a common vision, and ambitious targets to guide us to deliver what the world expects from us. Above all, it is particularly meaningful to have unanimous support from all Member States. In this regard, I believe that we have to pay more attention to support developing countries, in particular small island developing states and least developed countries, so that no one is left behind."
IMO adopts tougher decarbonisation strategy