The Union of Greek Shipowners strongly supports the successful outcome of the forthcoming IMO MEPC 72 deliberations with the conclusion of an agreement on the Initial IMO Strategy for GHG emissions reduction for international shipping. The adoption of an ambitious and realistic global strategy is the only pragmatic approach to enable developed and developing nations to achieve a workable and globally acceptable solution on the issue for a real and meaningful environmental impact.
IMO Member States (which are by and large the same nations that are party to the UNFCCC agreement) need to honour their commitment to develop, within the time schedule agreed in the IMO Road Map, an aspirational and feasible strategy and should not undermine the achievement of this by holding entrenched and/or unrealistic positions.
The UGS urges all stakeholders, including governmental and non-governmental organisations, to show responsibility and refrain from risking the collapse of this highly delicate political process by engaging in polarizing tactics under the guise of a purported environmental sensitivity. Claims published recently using dubious and utterly self-fulfilling methodology regarding the alleged climate ambition of individual EU Member States are totally dismissed as blatant populist sensationalism.
The “divide and rule” approach that appears to be the objective can only fail. The record of individual states regarding their contribution to enhancing safety and environmental protection within the IMO proceedings is clearly manifested by their agreement to and adoption of a number of significant international regulations, some of which have already brought a more than 10% total CO2 emissions reduction in the sector between 2007-2012 (ahead of any other transport mode), although maritime transport capacity increased by almost 50% during the same period.
The UGS fully endorses and supports the common industry position (achieved under the ICS leadership and clearly expressed in the two relevant formal submissions to IMO), which, inter alia, calls for the need for an ambitious vision, with the ultimate goal being the elimination of all CO2 emissions from international shipping in the second half of the century, or as soon as the worldwide availability of zero CO2 fuels and propulsion technology makes this possible. The IMO is the only legitimate and technically competent global body to properly address the issue of GHG emissions reductions from the shipping sector internationally and this should be respected and accepted by all.