The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) will consider an emissions target for the shipping sector in April according to its secretary-general Kitack Lim.
He told Climate Home by email that it was “likely” the topic would be addressed at the IMO environmental committee’s next meeting in April, stating: “I think that IMO will be able to agree on the appropriate way forward.”
“Contributing to the fight against climate change is a top priority for IMO alongside maritime safety and security and the prevention of pollution into the marine environment from ships,” he added.
Lim also said that the organisation’s focus would be on transferring “know-how to those countries that need it”.
Towards the end of 2015, the COP21 climate talks in Paris failed to produce an agreement on shipping or aviation, leaving many observers to call for the IMO to orchestrate the maritime response.
At the time, Maersk Group claimed that the IMO was “best positioned” to regulate the environmental impact of shipping.
However, green NGO Transport & Environment (T&E), said in a statement that the IMO had failed over 18 years to regulate its sector.
On February 3, 2016, the UN’s secretary-general Ban Ki-moon visited the IMO’s headquarters in London, highlighting the “major role” for the maritime sector and IMO in meeting the UN’s sustainable development goals.
He stated: “I also commend the IMO for its efforts to combat climate change, including through legally binding energy efficiency measures for ships, enhancing at least 30% of energy efficiency by 2025.