New ships to have more stringent energy efficiency requirements

The Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has approved amendments to strengthen the existing mandatory requirements for new ships to be more energy efficient.

The amendments were approved at the 74th session of the MEPC, which took place from May 13 to 17, 2019.

Specifically, the committee approved, for adoption at the next session in April 2020, amendments to MARPOL’s Annex VI to significantly strengthen the requirements of “phase 3” of the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI).

The draft amendments advance the entry into force of phase 3 to 2022, beginning in 2025, for various types of vessels, including gas carriers, general cargo vessels and LNG carriers. This means that new vessels built after that date must be significantly more energy efficient than the baseline. For container ships, the EEDI reduction rate is considerably improved for the types of larger vessels.

The MEPC also agreed on the terms of reference for a correspondence group to examine the introduction of a possible “phase 4” of EEDI requirements.

Guy Platten, ICS Secretary General, noted that the industry is on track to meet the 2030 target, if this solid IMO momentum continues.

“We welcome the adoption of important new IMO regulations to strengthen and bring forward the application of the Energy Efficiency Design Index for several different types of new build vessel, including containerships,” he said.

“We are keen to see further progress on developing more short term measures to help the existing fleet reduce its emissions, and are optimistic that IMO Member States can agree some additional regulations, during 2020, combining prescriptive and goal based approaches that will deliver further GHG reductions before 2023.”

The committee promoted a number of other measures to support the achievement of the objectives set out in the initial IMO strategy to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from ships, in accordance with the Paris Agreement in the framework of the UNFCCC and the United Nations 2030. Agenda for Sustainable Development.

One of the initiatives is the Fourth IMO GHG Study initiated by MEPC. Works are scheduled to begin in the fall of 2019, with a view to the final report of the study to be submitted to MEPC 76, which will be held in the fall of 2020.

In addition, the committee adopted a resolution that encourages cooperation with ports to reduce emissions from maritime transport.

The solution could include regulatory, technical, operational and economic actions, such as the provision of onshore energy supply, the safe and efficient supply of low carbon and zero carbon alternative fuels, incentives to promote low carbon sustainable transport and zero carbon.

Dan Rutherford, ICCT’s marine program director, commented: “The IMO’s decision to move up and tighten energy efficiency targets for some new ships is a modest but necessary step to combat climate change.”

In addition, the MEPC approved a procedure for evaluating the impact of the proposed new measures, agreed to establish a multi-donor GHG trust fund and agreed the terms of reference for the sixth and seventh intersessional working groups to be held in November. 2019 and in March 2020. respectively to speed up the work.

Possible short, medium and long-term measures to reduce GHG emissions from ships were also discussed.

Bill Hemmings, aviation and shipping director at Transport & Environment, added: “Shipping is the only sector not subject to binding climate regulation and its remaining climate budget is fast being used up. Speed regulation is the most effective measure on the table, fortunately it will go forward for discussion at the next session. We have no time to lose, IMO procrastination must stop.

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