22 October 2018

IMO rolls out maritime emissions regulatory toolkits

To enhance regulatory strategies and address both ships and ports, the IMO offers toolkits to build effective strategies for national regulation.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO), the global regulatory body for shipping, has issued a set of toolkits to support strategies for reduction of emissions across the maritime sector from ships and ports.

Regulatory strategies

The ship emissions toolkit and port emissions toolkits have been developed under the GEF-UNDP-IMO Global Maritime Energy Efficiency Partnerships (GloMEEP) Project, in collaboration with its strategic partners, the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST) and the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH). Astrid Dispert, GloMEEP Technical Adviser, said the guides would help support countries seeking to develop and strengthen national policy and regulatory frameworks related to the prevention of air pollution and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from ships. Ms Dispert explained, ‘ports and shipping are intrinsically linked, as such, efforts to reduce maritime emissions need to extend beyond seagoing ships alone. IMO’s MARPOL Annex VI regulations on air pollution and energy efficiency are aimed at ships, but it is clear that for port emissions to be reduced, national authorities need to consider emissions from all sources, including cargo handling equipment, trucks, as well as domestic vessels. By utilising these guides, countries can develop national strategies which will address emissions from their maritime sector as a whole - protecting public health and the environment and contributing to the fight against climate change.’

GHG reduction

Such strategies would include incorporating IMO regulations into national legislation. Annex VI of IMO’s International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from ships (MARPOL) includes regulations to limit air pollution from ships as well as energy efficiency regulations to cut greenhouse gas emissions from ships. In April 2018, IMO adopted its initial IMO strategy on reduction of GHG emissions from ships, which sets out a vision to reduce GHG emissions from international shipping and phase them out, as soon as possible in this century. The initial strategy recognizes the important role of ports as well as shipping in achieving the ambitious targets.