IMO’s 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; 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.
Further information on the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), 74th session agenda can be found here. The MEPC was opened by Secretary-General Kitack Lim and is being chaired by Mr. Hideaki Saito (Japan).