As the industry gears up for next week’s much anticipated MEPC 80 (Marine Environment Protect Committee) meeting, INTERCARGO Secretary General Kostas Gkonis has reiterated the importance that mid-term measures to help the IMO’s decarbonization ambitions should be both simple and effective, so as to be efficiently implemented by ships worldwide.

Dr Gkonis was commenting on the IMO’s 15th session of the Intersessional Working Group on the Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships in support of the paper submitted by ICS “ISWG-GHG 15/3/7 - Further information about a basket of measures combining an IMSF&R (Fund and Reward) mechanism (economic measure) and a Global (GHG) Fuel Standard (technical measure)”.

He congratulated the IMO Secretariat for the hard work and commitment to their difficult task and thanked all those who had submitted papers, adding that representing the dry bulk sector – arguably the most efficient cargo carriage mode on earth - INTERCARGO has done much itself to support measures to decarbonize the industry and achieve net zero emission shipping by 2050.

This has included, in previous meetings, promoting the concept of Green Hubs for developing the necessary infrastructure to ensure the availability of low/zero carbon fuels in ports around the world, and supporting along with its industry partners the establishment of an international maritime research fund for decarbonizing shipping.

Regarding medium-term measures, Dr Gkonis referred to INTERCARGO’s written submissions in early 2021 to MEPC for taking forward and implementing mandatory market-based measures for international shipping, while soon after and five intercessional meetings ago, INTERCARGO, after years of championing the concept in industry deliberations, was a frontrunner along with ICS in putting forward a levy-based MBM, per tonne of CO2 emissions, to expedite the uptake and deployment of zero-carbon fuels.

“Since then, our Association has consistently supported in principle the revised proposals aptly developed by the industry body, the International Chamber of Shipping,” he said.

“On this occasion, INTERCARGO reiterates the importance that the basket of mid-term measures should be both simple and effective, so as to be efficiently implemented by ships worldwide.

“In this respect, we express our support for the revised International Maritime Sustainability Fund & Reward mechanism, including the establishment of an IMO Maritime Sustainability Fund as in paper ISWG-GHG 15/3/7 by ICS and its combination with a simpler design of the Global GHG Fuel Standard, a technical measure as in document ISWG-GHG 15/3/6 again by ICS.”

The IMO is currently in the process of revising its Green House Gas (GHG) Strategy and the much anticipated MEPC 80 meeting will take place from 3-7 July.

INTERCARGO fully supports the IMO’s ambition to achieve net zero emission shipping by 2050, however, it stresses that the responsibility for decarbonization cannot be placed solely on the shoulders of the ship operator – it is a challenge that must be dealt with holistically by the entire supply chain.