IMO’s Intersessional Working Group on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships (ISWG-GHG) has drafted new mandatory measures to cut the carbon intensity of existing ships
These will be forwarded to the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) at its 75th meeting, held remotely on 16-20 November 2020, for approval.
This is part of IMO’s GHG strategy, which aims to reduce the carbon intensity of international shipping by 40% by 2030, compared to 2008.
ISWG-GHG 7 was held remotely on 19-23 October 2020 to progress this strategy ready for adoption of mandatory requirements to cut carbon and other greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
If these amendments to Marpol are approved, they would be put forward for adoption at the subsequent MEPC 76 session in 2021. This gap between approval and adoption is because the Marpol treaty requires draft amendments to be circulated for at least six months before adoption. They can enter into force 16 months following adoption, following amendment procedures set out in the treaty itself meaning Marpol amendments approved in November this year could come into force in near the end of 2022 or in 2023.
The proposed draft amendments add further requirements to the energy efficiency measures in Marpol Annex VI chapter 4. Current requirements are based on the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) for newbuild ships, meaning they have to be built and designed to be more energy efficient than the baseline.
There are also requirements under the mandatory Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP) for all ships, which requires vessel operators to have plans to improve energy efficiency through a variety of ship-specific measures.
Draft Marpol amendments build on these measures by bringing in requirements to assess and measure the energy efficiency of all ships and set the required attainment values. There are technical requirement to reduce carbon intensity, based on a new Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI); and operational carbon intensity reduction requirements, based on a new operational carbon intensity indicator (CII).
IMO sees this dual approach addressing both technical elements, such as retrofitting and re-equipping ships to be more energy efficient, and re-evaluation of operational measures to cut emissions.
The attained EEXI must be calculated for every ship by measuring operational data. This indicates the energy efficiency of the ship compared to a baseline.
Ships are then required to meet a specific EEXI based on a reduction factor, as expressed as a percentage relative to the EEDI baseline.
There are also proposed requirements for ships above 5,000 gt to determine their required annual operational CII. This determines the annual reduction factor needed to ensure continuous improvement of the ship’s operational carbon intensity within a specific rating level.
The actual annual operational CII achieved must be documented and verified against the required annual operational CII enabling the operational carbon intensity rating to be determined. The rating would be given on a scale – operational carbon intensity rating A, B, C, D or E – indicating a major superior, minor superior, moderate, minor inferior, or inferior performance level. Performance levels would be recorded in the ship’s SEEMP.
IMO said a ship rated D for three consecutive years, or E, would have to submit a corrective action plan, to show how the required index (C or above) would be achieved.
Under the draft amendments, IMO would review the effectiveness of the implementation of the CII and EEXI requirements by 2026 at the latest, and, if necessary, develop and adopt further amendments.
After approval of these Marpol amendments, MEPC 75 is expected to initiate a comprehensive impact assessment based on the procedure for assessing impacts on member states of candidate measures.
An impact assessment should provide a detailed qualitative and/or quantitative assessment of specific negative impacts on nations, taking into account evidence, analysis tools and models.
These could include cost-effectiveness analysis tools, such as maritime transport cost models, trade flows models, impact on gross domestic product (GDP); updated marginal abatement cost surveys (MACCs); economic trade models; transport models and combined trade-transport models.
Final comprehensive impact assessments of the short-term combined measure will be submitted to MEPC 76.
Based on this, a possible framework for reviewing impacts on member states of the measure adopted, and addressing disproportionately negative impacts on nations, as appropriate, would be considered.
IMO’s initial GHG strategy was adopted in 2018. It sets ambitious targets to halve GHG emissions from ships by 2050, compared to 2008, and reduce carbon intensity of international shipping by 40% by 2030 compared to 2008.
This strategy lists several candidate measures, to be considered to further reduce emissions and help achieve the targets in the strategy, in particular 40% reduction of carbon intensity from shipping by 2030.
Short-term measures could be measures finalised and agreed by MEPC meetings between 2018 and 2023.
IMO is looking for early action to achieving further reduction of GHG emissions from international shipping before 2023.
Carbon intensity and emissions reduction were discussed during Riviera Maritime Media’s Maritime Air Pollution (MAP) Europe virtual conference on 20-22 October. Further discussion on these issues and others impacting air pollution from shipping will be expected from Riviera’s MAP Asia virtual conference - use this link for more details and to register for this three-day event