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April 18, 2018

IMO agrees to cut shipping greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2050

Nations meeting at the United Nations International Maritime Organization (IMO) in London have adopted an initial strategy on the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from ships, setting out a vision to reduce GHG emissions from international shipping and phase them out, as soon as possible in this century.

More specifically, under the identified "levels of ambition", the initial strategy envisages for the first time a reduction in total GHG emissions from international shipping which, it says, should peak as soon as possible and to reduce the total annual GHG emissions by at least 50% by 2050 compared to 2008, while, at the same time, pursuing efforts towards phasing them out entirely.

The initial strategy was adopted by IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), during its 72nd session at IMO Headquarters in London, United Kingdom. The meeting was attended by more than 100 IMO Member States.

The agreement was not unanimous: the United States, Russia, and Saudi Arabia voted against the adoption of the strategy. However, there is a broad consensus on the issue of some major shipping countries like China, Japan, South Korea, and the EU.