INTERCARGO is participating in the development of the GHG emissions reduction strategy at IMO on 3-6 April 2018 aspiring to ambitious yet also pragmatic objectives. In the previous stages of the IMO deliberations, INTERCARGO along with its Round-Table partners / Shipping Industry Associations made proposals with the objective of facilitating the IMO discussions and confirming the shipowners willingness to support these discussions.
We believe that IMO is the appropriate body to address these global challenges, as the competent authority to do so. Shipping is the most efficient transportation mode and moreover its regulatory body, the IMO, was first in addressing GHG emissions by adopting as early as 2011 technical and operational requirements for new and existing vessels. It is disappointing that we have witnessed the demonstration of regional and insufficient thinking outside the IMO framework.
At the same time, the various stakeholders at IMO and the public should be informed, if not reminded, about who is truly responsible for GHG emissions: these largely depend on the vessels, engines & machinery and the charterers. We are an Association of Shipowners/operators, who are the users of ships & technologies made available by shipbuilders and manufacturers. Then the charterers have the responsibility about how vessels are utilised.
Think of when people rent cars: they are responsible to pay the fuel, as a result of the their usage, routing and speed. Otherwise one could think of our Members as “taxi drivers” if this helps one’s understanding about the responsibility we can assume about the emissions of the global “taxi fleet” in the coming decades. It is beyond the control of our Members, as it is certain our Members will embrace any competitive market solutions, ships & engines with better GHG footprint that would be offered to the market.
The IMO Member States, representing both developed and developing countries, have the responsibility of agreeing on the high-level GHG emissions reduction strategy at IMO (Vision, Levels of ambition, Guiding principles); it will not be an easy task, as for one thing at least their representatives should not fail to seriously take into account the safety and practical issues and any potential impact of the commitments they make on international trade.
When it comes to the operation of vessels, and if discussions at IMO touch upon short or longer term Measures, then INTERCARGO will of course share, in our consultative role at IMO, our views about which approaches can work with worldwide application and securing a global level playing field, basis the long and first-hand experience of our Membership, who are beyond doubt, as they have already proven, great supporters of the environmental causes.