The International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) has approved amendments to strengthen existing mandatory requirements for new ships to be more energy efficient.
The amendments were approved at the MEPC 74th session held from May 13 to 17, 2019.
Specifically, the committee approved, for adoption at the next session in April 2020, amendments to MARPOL Annex VI to significantly strengthen the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) “phase 3” requirements.
The draft amendments bring forward the entry into effect date of phase 3 to 2022, from 2025, for several ship types, including gas carriers, general cargo ships and LNG carriers. This means that new ships built from that date must be significantly more energy efficient than the baseline. For containerships, the EEDI reduction rate is considerably enhanced for larger ship types.
MEPC also agreed terms of reference for a correspondence group to look into the introduction of a possible “phase 4” of EEDI requirements.
The committee pushed forward with a number of other measures aimed at supporting the achievement of the objectives set out in the initial IMO strategy on reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from ships, in line with the Paris Agreement under UNFCCC and the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
One of the initiatives is the Fourth IMO GHG Study initiated by MEPC. The work is planned to begin in autumn 2019, with a view to the final report of the study being submitted to MEPC 76, to be held in autumn 2020.
What is more, the committee adopted a resolution encouraging cooperation with ports to reduce emission from shipping.
As explained, this could include regulatory, technical, operational and economic actions, such as the provision of onshore power supply, safe and efficient bunkering of alternative low-carbon and zero-carbon fuels, incentives promoting sustainable low-carbon and zero-carbon shipping, and support for the optimization of port calls including facilitation of just-in-time arrival of ships.
Moreover, MEPC approved a procedure for the impact assessment of new measures proposed, agreed to establish a multi-donor trust fund for GHG, and agreed terms of reference for the sixth and seventh intersessional working groups to be held in November 2019 and in March 2020 respectively in order to expedite the work.
Also discussed were possible candidate short-term, mid- and long-term measures aiming at reducing GHG emissions from ships.