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IMO should be quicker on emissions: Marine fuels market

  • : Oil products
  • 24/04/04

The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) needs to move faster on measures to meet the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions targets, market participants have said, with the next Marine Environment Protection Committee (MPEC) meeting in September-October viewed as a key point for the group to lay out its future plans.

Delegates that attended MPEC 81 in London last month broadly welcomed the meeting's outcomes but said more needs to be done, and quicker, in order to meet the revised 2023 GHG targets adopted at MEPC 80 last year.

MEPC 81 approved LCA guidelines around the emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O). It also adapted a new 'IMO net-zero framework' that will form the basis for an economic pricing mechanism.

The latter will probably be adopted at MPEC 82, scheduled for 30 September–4 October. Some in the market some expect the mechanism to be set up as a 'levy' system on fossil fuels. The IMO has said its approach to the energy transition is "fuel-agnostic", but market participants said it should look to adopt guidelines and frameworks regarding the use of biofuels in shipping as a robust short-term solution, due to their capability as a "drop-in fuel" for existing marine engines.

IMO delegates from Argentina, China, Brazil, US, Kenya, and Italy said the mechanism is crucial for meet the revised 2023 GHG emissions targets. But the delegate from Togo stressed a need to allocate and provide funding for "vulnerable nations", stating the measures adopted at MPEC 81, and the development of the economic pricing mechanism, will probably increase global shipping costs — which may disproportionately affect developing countries.

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