At MEPC 80 on Friday 7 July the IMO revised its 2018 GHG reduction targets for international shipping with a new target for international shipping reaching ‘net zero’ close to 2050 and indicative checkpoints of a cut in total greenhouse gas emissions of at least 20% by 2030, but ‘striving’ to reach cuts of 30% by then, and 70% in 2040 but ‘striving’ for 80%. GHG emissions are now to be calculated on a ‘well to wake’ basis. There is also a target that at least 5% of the energy used for international shipping by 2030 should be zero carbon, or near zero carbon, but ‘striving’ to reach 10% by then. There is no change to the 2018 target of reducing the carbon intensity (emissions produced per cargo and distance travelled) of international shipping by 40% by 2030, compared with 2008 levels. The IMO has set a deadline of 2025 for the development of mid-term measures to support its GHG strategy, with them to come into effect in 2027.
No decision was made on the proposed carbon levy, but the proposal lives on for future discussion. Discussion on the application of on-board carbon capture and storage or utilization, has been postponed to the next intersessional meeting of the Working Group on GHG reductions.