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July 12, 2017

International Maritime Organization moves ahead with oceans and climate change agenda

The International Maritime Organization (IMO), the United Nations agency charged with regulating international shipping, has progressed its environmental agenda at the recent meeting of its Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), 71st session (3-7 July).

The Committee clarified the ballast water management schedule, progressed on greenhouse gas and air pollution issues, adopted new NOx emission control areas, designated a further Particularly Sensitive Sea Area and agreed to work on implementation of the 0.50% global sulphur limit.

This work is helping IMO to fulfil its mandate to protect oceans and human health and to mitigate climate change, in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The MEPC agreed a practical and pragmatic implementation schedule for ships to comply with the IMO Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention, which aims to stem the transfer of potentially invasive species in ships' ballast water. The treaty enters into force on 8 September 2017.

The Committee also agreed the scope of work needed to achieve consistent implementation of the 0.50% m/m global limit of the sulphur content of ships' fuel oil, which will come into effect from 1 January 2020.

The MEPC continued to build on the solid work the Organization has undertaken to address greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from international shipping, with work on track for the adoption of an initial IMO strategy on the reduction of GHG emissions from ships in 2018.

Source: IMO