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IMO must show action on GHG emissions at MEPC 69…

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Minimum outcome must be an agreement on the quick development of a working plan and framework to reduce GHG emissions

London – 4 April 2016 – The Sustainable Shipping Initiative (“SSI”), a pioneering coalition of companies from across the global shipping industry, today called on the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to show its true intent to reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions from shipping at the forthcoming Marine Environmental Protection Committee meeting (MEPC 69), which begins on 18th April 2016.

The SSI believes that an ambitious but realistic plan must be set that will see the shipping industry take responsibility and contribute to reducing GHG emissions in line with the UNFCCC target of less than 2 degrees warming agreed at the COP 21 meeting in Paris in December 2015. To achieve this requires global GHG emissions to be at least 50% below 1990 levels by 2050, however the shipping industry’s current rate of emissions growth is incompatible with this target.

“The newly appointed IMO Secretary General, Kitack Lim has publicly said that contributing to the fight against climate change is a top priority for the IMO, ” said Alastair Fischbacher, CEO, the Sustainable Shipping Initiative.

“The IMO’s latest figures show that if left unchecked, GHG emissions from shipping will increase by up to 250% by 2050, representing 17% of global emissions. This is simply unacceptable, and it is critical that the IMO urgently sets out a robust and ambitious plan and framework that sees the industry take responsibility for reducing its emissions output. The time for business as usual is over, and the time for action is now; MEPC 69 is the platform to demonstrate this.”

The agreed agenda for MEPC 69 will see debate around a number of areas in relation to GHG emissions, including the development of a global data collection scheme and an emissions reduction target, as well as market-based measures to achieve such a target. As a minimum, the SSI believes that MEPC 69 must agree a fast-tracked plan that will see the formal agreement and implementation of significant and early emissions reductions for shipping.

Alastair Fischbacher continued:

“A number of member states and industry bodies have submitted papers for the development of a work plan that defines the industry’s fair share of efforts to reduce GHG emissions. This must be the minimum outcome from MEPC 69, which will set the foundation for shipping to contribute to the less than 2-degree warming target set at COP 21. It is critical that the IMO now drives this this forward. Right now the opportunity for change is in the industry’s hands, and inaction will increase calls for regulatory and legislative influence from outside shipping. And crucially, any further delays will only increase the scale of the GHG challenge that the industry faces.”

The SSI recently launched its Roadmap, a set of key milestones and priorities, which must be met in order to create a sustainable shipping industry by 2040. Set across six core areas, one is the requirement to reduce GHG emissions by changing to a diverse range of energy sources as well using resources more efficiently, which can be achieved through a number of factors, including regulation, governance, infrastructure development, and emerging energy sources.

Alastair Fischbacher concluded:

“Our Roadmap clearly shows that numerous and significant steps are required to reduce GHG emissions from shipping and that effective regulation is a key element of achieving this. It is vital that at MEPC 69 the IMO takes the actions called for to ensure that this industry is recognised as taking responsibility for the reduction of its local and global emissions.”

About the Sustainable Shipping Initiative
The Sustainable Shipping Initiative (SSI) is an ambitious coalition of shipping leaders from around the world that is taking practical steps to tackle some of the sector’s greatest opportunities and challenges. The group is working to achieve a vision of an industry in which sustainability equals success.

It is the first time the shipping industry has joined forces on such a cooperative global scale to tackle big sustainability issues. The ultimate goal is to show that collaborative action is possible, and to mobilise support across the industry, demonstrating that shipping can contribute to – and thrive in – a sustainable future.

The cross-industry SSI has members from a number of companies representing ship owners and charterers, shipbuilders, engineers and service providers, banking and classification societies. Member companies include ABN AMRO, AkzoNobel, American Bureau of Shipping, Bunge, Cargill, China Navigation Company, , IMC, Lloyd’s Register, Maersk Line, U-Ming Marine Transport Corporation and Wärtsilä.

In September 2013 the SSI became an independent charity. The SSI was initially facilitated by global sustainability non-profit Forum for the Future in conjunction with WWF, the global conservation NGO. Forum for the Future and WWF remain as SSI NGO members.

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