The UGS welcomes IMO’s ambitious initial GHG reduction strategy as a first but critical step towards the industry’s decarbonization

Piraeus, 16.4.2018

The Union of Greek Shipowners welcomes the adoption of the IMO’s initial GHG reduction strategy by MEPC 72 as a landmark decision that brings the global shipping industry’s desired decarbonization pathway in line with the aspirations of the Paris Agreement. Following two weeks of intense and difficult negotiations, the adopted strategy prescribes a 50% reduction of GHG emissions by 2050 compared to 2008, as well as a 40% energy efficiency improvement by 2030, pursuing efforts for a 70% energy efficiency improvement by 2050.

Commenting on the decision, the UGS President Mr. Theodore Veniamis said: “IMO’s decision marks an important milestone for global shipping which should be acknowledged and respected by all stakeholders as such. The initial strategy agreed by MEPC 72 is the first of its kind, not only because it goes well beyond the Paris Agreement with the introduction of quantitative targets, but also because, in doing so, shipping becomes the first industry to adopt such concrete global goals for the reduction of its total GHG emissions.

This initial strategy, set to be finalized in 2023, paves the way for the adoption of global measures that will hopefully enable the industry to reach the agreed objectives. The IMO, the specialized UN agency responsible for setting global standards for shipping, has achieved a balanced political compromise and one that could be workable for the shipping industry.

This is only the beginning of a long and arduous road to ensure that feasible and workable global measures are developed and implemented in a way that guarantees safety and a global level playing field, while minimizing their potential impact on the growing world economy and increasing international trade. In the longer term, the shipping industry’s ability to remain on the agreed GHG reduction pathway inevitably hinges upon the indispensable availability globally of alternative low or no carbon, safe fuels for the efficient operation of the world fleet. This proviso is absolutely crucial for the industry’s successful decarbonization” Mr. Veniamis remarked.

This strategy sends a strong signal to states, shipowners, fuel / energy suppliers, shipyards, engine builders and marine technology companies as well as other stakeholders to work together in an effort to provide the necessary tools for the successful implementation of this historic decision. The Union of Greek Shipowners will work consistently and constructively with all stakeholders towards this aim” Mr. Veniamis concluded.