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IMO agrees first carbon emission reduction measures for world fleet

Environmentalists blast the historic agreement as an ‘extreme folly’ and claim it will lead to climate catastrophe.

The International Maritime Organization has agreed a series of measures to reduce shipping’s carbon emissions by 2030, which will require the world’s existing fleet to match the efficiency standards of newbuildings.

The amendments to Marpol Annex VI will now be circulated among IMO member states with a view to entering into force by 2023.

Heated debate

The agreement follows a day of heated debate at the IMO’s decisive Marine Environment Protection Committee meeting.

Green groups and Pacific islands impacted by climate change argued that the deal fell well short of the IMO’s target to improve the carbon intensity of international shipping by 40% by 2030.

However, a recently formed coalition of leading shipping nations including Japan, Norway, Germany, the UK, South Korea, Singapore and others was enough to ensure the package of measures progressed.

Governments appear to have committed to an agreement because, if the talks had collapsed, there was no way the IMO could have reached its schedule to put greenhouse gas regulation for the existing fleet in place by 2023.

The main requirement is that all existing ships will have to comply with minimum efficiency standards of the Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI).

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