IMO criticised for failing on GHG plan

The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has been criticised by environmental groups for failing to implement the organisation’s own greenhouse gas reduction (GHG) plan.

The Transport & Environment organisation claimed that the impact of the decision at IMO’s intersessional working group on Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Ships will not cap, let alone reduce, shipping emissions on this decade.


Faig Abbasov, shipping programme director at Transport & Environment, said: “Governments have ridden roughshod over the Paris Agreement by agreeing a measure that will see ship emissions grow for decades to come. The UN maritime agency again showed the world it can only deliver cosmetic changes. EU countries should work through the European Green Deal to fill the gap left by the IMO.”


The J/5 proposal is seen as failing in three ways:

  • No carbon intensity target, and a weakened Energy Efficiency of Existing Ships Index (EEXI): This means the proposal would, at best, now curb GHG by only 0.65% to 1.3% by 2030 compared to business as usual pathway without IMO regulation. Business-as-usual pathway is +15% above the industry’s 2008 baseline. 
  • Loopholes: non-compliant ships will be able to continue underperforming for three consecutive years before they even have to file a plan to make improvements, and can easily game underperformance indefinitely by ensuring one compliant year every three years.
  • No actual enforcement: All clauses that would create consequences for non-compliance – such as increased EEXI stringency or ultimately revoking a ship’s statement of compliance – have been removed. 

Latest News