We, the undersigned, call on the Heads of State of IMO member countries to recognize the capability and aspiration of the broader community involved in shipping to join global efforts to combat climate change. This requires swift and decisive action by IMO member states to begin working to define the industry’s contribution and to develop policies that drive investment in cost-effective GHG emission reduction efforts within the industry. With a robust framework for managing national emissions now agreed in Paris and momentum for addressing international aviation emissions under ICAO, it is time to recognize the important role the global shipping industry must play in holding global temperatures “well below two degrees Celsius.”

The recent agreement on the Global Data Collection System and past agreement on energy efficiency design standards demonstrate that the diverse interests at IMO can find common ground on complex and contentious issues. However, even with existing standards and current market forces, shipping’s emissions are expected to substantially increase over the coming years. To curb this trajectory, IMO member countries must demonstrate that they can match the ambition and pace of UNFCCC.

Industry leaders are ready to collaborate to find solutions. The industry has an abundance of market-ready tools and technologies that can achieve higher operational and technical efficiency, but needs the IMO to act in order to create clear market signals, foster an even playing field, and avert a patchwork of national-level requirements.

We support the discussion at MEPC to establish the shipping industry’s fair share of the global responsibility to address climate change. We call on the IMO member countries and their Heads of State to ensure that a clear, ambitious long-term objective is established and soon followed by ambitious actions that help to drive investment in low-carbon solutions.

IMO Member States

Original MEPC Letter