Shipping and environment in spotlight as IMO Committee meets
IMO says its key environment protection meeting has opened for its 74th session (13-17 May). The reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from ships is a key agenda item, following up on the initial IMO strategy on reduction of GHG emissions from ships. A working group is expected to be established, continuing the work of an intersessional meeting which met last week (7-10) May. The fourth IMO GHG study is expected to be initiated, the procedure for assessing the impact on States of new measures will be considered and possible short-term measures will be discussed.
A set of draft guidelines and guidance documents to support the implementation of the 0.50% sulphur limit from 1 January 2020 are set to be approved this week. The new limit will have major health and environmental benefits.
Other important agenda items include: the adoption of MARPOL amendments to strengthen requirements regarding discharge of high-viscosity substances, such as certain vegetable oils and paraffin-like cargoes; follow-up to the follow up on the IMO Action Plan to address marine plastic litter from ships; implementation of the Ballast Water Management Convention; and approval, for future adoption, of draft amendments to the International Convention for the Control of Harmful Anti-fouling Systems on Ships (AFS), to include controls on the biocide cybutryne.
The MEPC was opened by Secretary-General Kitack Lim and is being chaired by Mr. Hideaki Saito (Japan).