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Tuesday, October 23, 2018

INTERTANKO encourages IMO to set target levels to reduce GHG emissions

INTERTANKO encourages the early establishment by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) of target levels for the energy efficiency for new ships, in its recent submission to the upcoming IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee.


Setting such targets would become part of the discussions on the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) for new ships which is currently under consideration by the MEPC. Such targets would help the shipping industry to fit its work on reducing greenhouse gas emissions into the context of the global reductions which are under discussion at the IMO, and which will be centre stage at the COP 15* meetings (on climate change) in December this year in Copenhagen, where an ambitious global climate agreement is planned to be developed for the period from 2012 when the first commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol expires.


INTERTANKO is encouraging the IMO to set target levels as the competent international body regulating shipping, rather than having the COP15/UNFCCC meetings in Copenhagen dictate GHG target levels for shipping.


In the paper submitted recently to the MEPC (see attached), INTERTANKO strongly supports the ongoing development by the IMO of regulations that would result in measurable reductions of GHG emissions from ships. The IMO has already achieved a great deal of progress in this respect on both new and existing ships, despite the complexity of the issues involved. INTERTANKO hopes that the MEPC will maintain the powerful momentum that it has built up on this issue with further developments and agreements at its July meeting.


What does INTERTANKO’s support mean in practice? For new ships, INTERTANKO’s Members have been testing the IMO’s Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) formula and strongly support its application as soon as possible.


For existing ships, INTERTANKO has already developed a draft Ship Energy Management Plan (SEMP) specifically for tankers, based on the IMO’s Ship Energy Management Plan guide. A growing number of INTERTANKO members already apply operational measures aimed at improving ship’s fuel efficiency, and the tanker SEMP will facilitate a harmonised and comprehensive recording, monitoring and reporting of the results, all aimed at achieving a coordinated, efficient CO2 emissions reduction from tankers in service. Such operational measures already being actively investigated and applied by the shipping industry include more frequent hull/propeller cleaning, alternative coatings, better route planning, speed management.


It is a fact that tankers have become extremely energy efficient - for every litre of fuel burned in its main engine, today’s oil tanker transports its cargo twice as far as the same size ship 20 years ago. Achieving further large reductions in carbon emissions is challenging, and particularly hard at a time when the amount of oil transported in the international tanker trade has, up to last year, been growing steadily – the tonne-mile oil trade has increased by 66% this decade compared to the 1980s.


Therefore, INTERTANKO is working closely with the Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF) to see how owners can work with charterers to improve ship trading efficiency. We welcome the release by OCIMF of its Energy Efficiency and Fuel Management booklet which provides the basis for a voluntary approach between tanker operators and charterers in the joint planning of a ship’s voyage with a view to limiting CO2 emissions. We are working with OCIMF and others to establish a voluntary EEDI rating system for new ships which can start being used now.  


There has been much discussion as to whether Market Based Instruments (MBIs) (such as an emissions trading scheme, a bunker levy, an International GHG Compensation Fund) should be part of any regulation to reduce ship emissions. It is unclear whether such a move would be feasible in practice, with questions around enforcement, monitoring and lack of compliance when things occur beyond a ship’s control. On the other hand, target levels for new ships could be agreed and set in a relatively short time, and it will be possible in time to agree and set targets for existing ships. We believe that setting target levels for the energy efficiency of ships is the best route in practice to achieve tangible emission reductions.


Should MBIs be included as part of any regulatory package for the reduction of GHG emissions from ships, INTERTANKO strongly requests that the selection of any MBI be based upon whether the specific proposals meet INTERTANKO’s set of principles  which were adopted by its Council at its meeting last month in Tokyo (and which embody the IMO’s nine principles decided at MEPC 57), and which are included these in our recent submission to MEPC.


These principles state that a MBI scheme should be:


·         Governed by the IMO and be specific for the shipping industry


·         Effective in contributing to the reduction of total GHG emissions


·         Environmentally sustainable without negative impact on global trade and growth

          (nor leading to competitive distortion nor disadvantaging those operators or ships which   

          have already achieved significant GHG reductions)


·         Efficient and credible enforcement & monitoring

                  (practical, transparent, fraud-free and easy to administer by the governing authority;               

                    compliance demonstrated through proper monitoring)


In addition, INTERTANKO remains wholeheartedly supportive of MARPOL Annex VI on air emissions from ships. North America’s proposed Emissions Control Area (ECA) is a positive step to further the aims of Annex VI. However we are concerned at the unilateral nature of Europe’s marine fuel sulphur Directive**  and in particular at the requirement for burning maximum 0.1% sulphur fuel at berth from January 2010 contained therein.  This requirement is not in line with internationally agreed rules and furthermore it is a safety risk. INTERTANKO emphasises the importance of the EU fully aligning itself with international regulation agreed in IMO, and doing so sooner rather than later to avoid operational confusion/unnecessary fuel switching and safety risks. (For further details, please see the attached joint statement from INTERTANKO and the Oil Companies International Marine Forum.)


( * the 15th Conference of Parties to the UNFCCC, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which is the UN organisation dealing with measures to reduce man-made emissions that result in climate change)

(** Directive 2005/33/EC of 6 July 2005 amending Directive 1999/32/EC)



Bill Box,

INTERTANKO Communications and Public Relations Manager,

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