IMO report on GHG working group intercessional ahead of MEPC80

Industry announcement (from IMO): 


The Intersessional Working Group on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships (ISWG-GHG 15) met ahead of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 80).


Draft Revised IMO 2023 GHG Strategy


The Group further considered and developed the text for the draft Revised IMO 2023 GHG Strategy.


The MEPC is invited to consider and resolve the draft text, in particular the square brackets contained in the revised 2023 GHG strategy, for finalization.  


Mid- and long-term measures (economic and technical)


The Group completed its work on the description of the basket of measures, comprised of a technical element and economic element. (This is identified as “Phase II” of the work plan, namely Assessment and selection of measure(s) to further develop.)


During the discussions, all delegations that spoke supported the further development of a goal-based fuel/energy standard as the technical element mandating phased reductions in the GHG intensity of marine fuels,  as part of a basket of measures


The MEPC 76 session had adopted a work plan on the concrete way forward to make progress with candidate mid- and long-term measures, including measures to incentivize the move away from fossil fuels to low- and zero-carbon fuels to achieve decarbonization of international shipping. Read more on mid and long-term measures here including fact sheets on proposed measures. 


Guidelines on lifecycle GHG intensity of marine fuels (LCA guidelines)


The Group finalized guidelines on lifecycle GHG intensity of marine fuels (LCA guidelines), along with a draft MEPC resolution, for submission to the MEPC for adoption. 


The scope of the guidelines is to address Well-to-Tank (WtT), Tank-to Wake (TtW), and Well-to-Wake (WtW) Greenhouse gases (GHG) intensity and sustainability themes/aspects related to marine fuels/energy carriers (e.g. electricity for shore power) used for ship propulsion and power generation onboard. The relevant GHGs included are carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O).


Follow-up work on the LCA framework


The group invited the MEPC to endorse the Group’s recommendations on follow-up work on the LCA framework, including: establishing a correspondence group; requesting the IMO Secretariat to organize an Expert Workshop on the life cycle GHG intensity of marine fuels; and requesting the IMO Secretariat to undertake a review of existing practices on sustainability aspects/certification and third-party verification issues.


Next steps: 

  • The Group reports to the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 80), which meets 3-7 July (Preview here).

  • The MEPC plenary is scheduled to discuss Agenda item 7 on Reduction of GHG emissions from ships on Monday 3 July, following the opening of the session and adoption of the Agenda.

  • It is expected that a Working Group on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships will be established, to meet in closed session and report back to the plenary by the end of the week.  

  • The final adoption of the Revised IMO 2023 GHG Strategy is anticipated for Friday 7 July.

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