The InfluenceMap “study” on the IMO’s greenhouse gas debate released today seriously misrepresents the World Shipping Council’s approach to reducing carbon emissions from shipping. Contrary to InfluenceMap’s assertions, WSC has offered concrete proposals for both short and long-term carbon reductions. In April of this year, WSC co-sponsored submittal MEPC 71/7/4, which proposed the following three core approaches to reducing CO2 emissions (repeated below verbatim from the paper submitted to the IMO):

  1. Establish an International Maritime Research Board with a mandate to direct and fund research and development of new and improved marine propulsion systems, electric generation plants, fuels, and ship design;
  2. Periodically review and modify EEDI standards to promote the introduction of increasingly carbon-efficient tonnage in the maritime fleet; and
  3. Reduce air emissions from the existing fleet through investments in energy-enhancing technology.

The InfluenceMap paper also spreads misinformation about both the Paris Agreement and the work of the IMO. The Paris Agreement is not, as stated by InfluenceMap, “legally binding.” To the contrary, it is purely aspirational, with no legal consequences for any nation’s failure to meet the objectives that each country sets for itself. In contrast, the IMO’s EEDI and fuel consumption reporting regimes are legally binding, and the IMO continues to consider additional legally binding requirements. The issues to be addressed by the IMO are technically and politically complex. WSC urges all parties to maintain their focus on finding practical and effective solutions.