IMO agrees first carbon emission reduction measures for world fleet
February 22, 2021
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IMO decision starts race against time to raise ship efficiency

Over the next two years, owners will have to upgrade existing vessels to match the operating efficiency of new buildings or face a limit on engine power.

The International Maritime Organization’s landmark decision to mandate measures to cut carbon emissions has put shipowners in a race against time to raise the fuel efficiency of existing vessels to meet newbuilding standards.

The regulatory process to add the new measures to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (Marpol) Annex VI in time to enter into force by January 2023 will get underway shortly.

The measures —the first carbon reduction regulation to be applied to the trading fleet —were agreed at the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) online meeting and seek to reduce shipping’s carbon intensity by 40% by 2030.

The deal has angered environmentalists for not going far enough to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, there are still potentially huge implications for the post-2023 trading markets, as the regulation could dramatically shorten the trading life of the existing fleet.

The newly agreed Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index, or EEXI, will require all existing ships to meet newbuilding fuel-efficiency standards by their first statutory survey in 2023.

The current Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) baseline for newbuildings will be adopted as the standard for existing ships under EEXI.

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