European shipbuilding bodies Sea Europe and CESA have issued a joint announcement criticising the level of ambition of the IMO as it begins discussing the efficiency plans for existing ships at the delayed MEPC 75 meeting in London this week.
MEPC 75, which began its virtual, online meeting this week will consider short-term climate protection measures for worldwide shipping. Approval would enable the IMO to meet the first milestone of its GHG strategy on time. The package, which defines – for the first time – energy efficiency provisions for the existing fleet and aims to reduce CO2 intensity in ship operations, could enter into force from 2023 onwards.
The two organisations argue that the proposed level of ambition of the proposed Amendments to the MARPOL Convention is not strict enough to utilise the full reduction potential of innovative energy-saving technologies and available alternative fuels. Through a CESA submission the European shipbuilders argued that retrofitting to a newbuilding standard is technically feasible. But the proposed reduction rates of the energy efficiency index for existing ships (EEXI), are not living up to the state-of-the-art in ship technology and will only be applied once.
In terms of the operational requirements the reduction potential of the new Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII) is still unclear because no mandatory measures for verification and enforcement have been developed so far. Compliance with reduced CII values is based on the self-assessment of management plans instead of robust corrective measures for sub-standard ships. This weak point – if not rectified at MEPC 75 – will lead to considerable distortion of competition and disadvantage progressive shipowners and shipbuilding companies economically. And this will also undermine the incentive to innovate, which is indispensable for implementing the maritime energy transition and zero-emission maritime transport.
The Accredited Representative to IMO, Dr. Ralf Sören Marquardt, summarised CESA’s expectation for the upcoming meeting: “IMO needs a more robust GHG strategy, which is enforcing what is technically feasible. To increase regulatory efficiency in climate protection, the IMO members need to increase its ecological payload.”
CESA and SEA Europe’s Secretary General, Christophe Tytgat, highlighted the European dimension saying, “The EU Green Deal also applies to shipping. With this lack of international ambition, political pressure on the EU to move forward with regional measures is now very likely. European maritime technology providers call for measures to accelerate the deployment of green technologies and a stable regulatory framework that incentivizes first movers and supports their investments.