The 79th meeting of IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 79) reports progress towards revising the Initial IMO GHG Strategy, working towards adopting a strengthened revised Strategy in mid-2023 at MEPC 80.
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said: “I note and welcome the progress made on these matters. It cannot be stressed enough how crucial it is that we keep the momentum and deliver an ambitious and fair, revised IMO GHG Strategy at MEPC 80 next year. We cannot take our foot off the accelerator, at this moment in time, the cooperation and dialogue that is the trademark of IMO, and not least this Committee, will be more important than ever in delivering on what is expected of us to address climate change, but also biodiversity loss and marine pollution.”
The work on revising the IMO GHG Strategy took place in an intersessional group, (ISWG-GHG 13), and in the Working Group on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships, which met during the MEPC 79 session.
The Committee reaffirmed its commitment to: adopt a revised IMO GHG Strategy, in all its elements including with a strengthened level of ambition by MEPC 80; continue its work on identifying the candidate GHG reduction measures to be developed in priority as part of a basket of measures consisting of both technical and economic elements by MEPC 80 in accordance with the Work plan; and undertake a comprehensive impact assessment of the basket of candidate measures ahead of their adoption in accordance with the Work plan and the revised Procedure for assessing impacts on States.
The MEPC session adopted amendments to designate the Mediterranean Sea, as a whole, as an Emission Control Area (ECA) for Sulphur Oxides and Particular Matter, under MARPOL Annex VI. In such an Emission Control Area, the limit for sulphur in fuel oil used on board ships is 0.10% mass by mass (m/m), while outside these areas the limit is 0.50% m/m. The amendment is expected to enter into force on 1 May 2024, with the new limit taking effect from 1 May 2025.
MEPC adopted amendments to appendix IX of MARPOL Annex VI on the reporting of mandatory values related to the implementation of the IMO short-term GHG reduction measure, including attained EEXI, CII and rating values to the IMO Ship Fuel Oil Consumption Database (IMO DCS).It adopted amendments to appendix V of MARPOL Annex VI, to include flashpoint of fuel oil or a statement that the flashpoint has been measured at or above 70ºC as mandatory information in the bunker delivery note (BDN). The amendments are expected to enter into force on 1 May 2024.
A full summary of MEPC 79 can be found here.