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03 July 2022 The on-line newspaper devoted to the world of transports 22:49 GMT+2

June 10, 2022

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Original news
Outcome of MEPC 78: the World Shipping Council sees the glass half full. At the ICS it seems almost empty

Ok to the establishment of an Emissions Control Area in the Mediterranean

The World Shipping Council (WSC) sees the glass half full. The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) sees it as almost empty. The latter is the international organization to which they make Chapter 32 national shipowners' associations and other representations and individual shipping companies. The first is instead the international voice of those companies that operate containerized maritime transport services. The glass to which are looking at WSC and ICS is the one filled with the outcome of this week's meeting of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) that was focused on measures to decarbonise the shipping.

First the bad news. The International Chamber of Shipping has complained that MEPC members did not support the establishment of the research and development fund to support the decarbonisation of the maritime sector, a fund that had been proposed by the maritime industry itself and considered vital for financing the energy transition of shipping ( of 18 December 2019). "By refusing to continue the fund of research and development proposed by the shipping industry - has recriminated the Secretary General of the ICS, Guy Platten - the IMO has wasted his opportunity to kick off a rapid transition to zero-carbon technologies, which will be essential if we want to complete the decarbonisation by 2050."

"Despite the support of many IMO states - he detected Platten - this was thwarted by maneuvers short-sighted policies that have led in fact to the collapse of the proposal. The signal sent - denounced the secretary general of the ICS - is that the financial risk associated with the "Green" investments will remain high, slowing down efforts to switch to zero fuels as soon as possible emissions'.

Commenting on the development of the discussion held in these days at the MEPC in virtual mode, Platten noted that 'Some have said that the fund is a measure market-based and not ambitious enough, deliberately misinterpreting our intentions. The fund - explained Platten - has never been presented as a carbon pricing measure, which, despite being an additional measure that we fully support, it is politically much more complex and will require many years to be developed. If the governments had demonstrated the political will - underlined Platten - the specific research and development fund could have become operational next year, raising billions of dollars from industry at no cost to governments."

In this regard, the Deputy Secretary General of the International Chamber of Shipping, Simon Bennett, pointed out that, "beyond to provide half a billion dollars a year to support the global research and development programmes, the fund would provide 50 millions of dollars a year to support reduction projects of greenhouse gas emissions in the maritime sector in developing countries development, with an increase of ten times compared to the current IMO technology cooperation budget. Unfortunately - you are regretted Bennett - it seems that even this opportunity to provide immediate help to countries such as small island states in the way of development has been lost."

"On the positive side - added Bennett trying to see more liquid in the glass - the possibility remains for the IMO to use the proposed fund regulatory architecture to support a future global tax on CO2 emissions from shipping, at the in order to bridge the price gap with zero fuels carbon emissions when these are available, and provide relevant resources to help accelerate the transition to zero emissions by 2050. If the system of contributions that we have developed can accelerate the implementation of a global carbon tax for transport Maritime - concluded Bennett - we may still be able to look back at this setback at the IMO as if you were was a significant success.'

The World Shipping Council does not seem to make any effort. to imagine the glass half full, indeed he sees it almost full. According to the Association of Scheduled Shipping Companies, the 78th session of the MEPC "there were good important progress, including the next phase of the strategy of the IMO on greenhouse gases'. More: the WSC has urged 'Member States to maintain momentum and intensify the crucial work on the development of pathways for the decarbonization of shipping".

'The transition of world maritime transport from a carbon-dependent sector to one operating without emissions of greenhouse gases - commented the president and CEO of the WSC, John Butler - it is a huge task. We encouraged by contributions from Member States recognising the need to focus on key actions and urge all Member States to accelerate and expand this work crucial. Carriers transporting containers and rolling stock - has butler said referring to the activities carried out by the member companies - are already investing in the development of technologies with zero greenhouse gas emissions and are committed to enabling the sector's transition to zero emissions. Hour - he specified - governments must take decisive action to provide clear regulatory frameworks and signals to the market that promote investment and support companies at the forefront».

For the WSC the lack of agreement on the creation of the fund of research and development is not a drama: "unfortunately - noted the little concerned Butler - the agreement to establish the International Maritime Research Board (IMRB) and the International Maritime Research Fund (IMRF) was not reached at MEPC 78. However, we are encouraged by the growing recognition of many parts that applied research and development are key if we want to proceed with a great energy transition in the maritime sector'.

To make the World Shipping Council believe that the glass is more full than empty is also the decision taken by the MEPC to proceed with the establishment of a Control Area of the emissions (ECA) in the Mediterranean, a decision - he noted the association - "which if adopted by mepc 79 will offer significant improvements both for human health and for the environment of the region'.

Fully satisfied with the outcome of the 78th meeting of the MEPC is the Secretary General of International Maritime Organization (IMO). Closing the work tonight, Kitack Lim has listed some of those that, in his opinion, were the relevant progress made during this week, starting from the outcome of the debate on ballast water management of the ships: "you have consented - said Lim addressing the members of the Committee - the development of a plan for the revision of the Convention and established a Responsible Correspondence Group the revision of the BMW Convention on Water Management of ballast, the first task of which will be to finalize the plan for the revision of the Convention, which will determine the direction of the Work of the Organization towards a review holistic of this Convention'.

"In addition- continued the Secretary General of the IMO - you have approved a set of updated guidelines to support the recent amendments to the AFS Convention (control legislation) of harmful antifouling systems applied on ships, ed). You have adopted a draft amendment to Annex V of MARPOL to make the waste register mandatory also for ships Of 100 gross tonnage and more but less than 400 tonnes tons, and you agreed to develop mandatory requirements based on the objectives for marking fishing gear.' Finally, Lim cited "the approval of the draft of amendment of Annex VI of MARPOL to designate the area of control of sulphur oxide and particulate emissions for Mediterranean Sea, in view of the adoption at MEPC 79 of 12-16 December 2022.' No mention of the research fund and the development so much invoked by the shipping industry.

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