UN-mandated measures to significantly reduce carbon emissions from shipping

14 November 2011 – The implementation of United Nations-mandated energy-efficiency measures will lead to a significant reduction in carbon emissions from ships and an increase in savings in fuel costs to the shipping industry, according to a study released today by the UN International Maritime Organization (IMO).

The study found that by 2020 an average of 151.5 million tons of carbon dioxide will be reduced every year, and this figure will increase to 330 million tons by 2030.

The measures to enhance fuel efficiency were introduced in July and entail technical as well as operational aspects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping.

The regulations require new ships to be designed to be more energy efficient by making it mandatory to adopt the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI). The measures are non-prescriptive as ship designers and builders are free to use whatever solution they want for each particular ship as long as the required energy-efficiency level is attained.

The new measures also require ships to implement a plan which sets out how energy savings can be made for each ship. Each package will differ depending on the type of ship, cargo and route, among other factors.

The regulations will apply to all ships of 400 gross tonnage and above, and are expected to enter into force on 1 January 2013. This is the first time that energy-efficiency measures are mandated for the international transport sector.

In a news release issued by the agency, the IMO said further work will be carried out on market-based measures next year. These measures would place a price on greenhouse gas emissions, providing an economic incentive for the maritime industry to invest in more fuel-efficient ships and technologies, and to operate ships in a more energy-efficient manner. In addition, these measures can generate funds that could be used, for other projects, such as mitigating climate change in developing countries.


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