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45th session - Agenda item 8  MEPC 45/8/3 - 27 July 2000



In consideration of an IMO strategy for greenhouse gases reduction. The Conference of Parties to MARPOL 73/78 held in 1997, adopted resolution 8, which invited the Committee to consider what CO2 reduction strategy may be feasible.

1 The Committee may recall that the International Conference of Parties to MARPOL 73/78 was held in September 1997. The Conference adopted the Protocol of 1997 to amend MARPOL 73/78, which sets out in its annex the Annex VI, regulations for the Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships, and eight Conference resolutions, including resolution 8 which recognises that CO2 emissions being a greenhouse gas, have an adverse effect on the environment and that Annex VI of MARPOL 73/78 does not address CO2 emissions from ships.


2 The Conference adopted Resolution 8 by which it:


.1 invited the Secretary-General of the Organization to co-operate with the Executive
Secretary of the UNFCCC in exchange for information on the issue of emissions of
greenhouse gases;


.2 invited the Organization, in co-operation with the UNFCCC, to undertake a study of
CO2 emissions from ships for the purpose of establishing the amount and relative
percentages of CO2 emissions from ships as part of the global inventory of CO2
emissions. The study should estimate emissions for the most recent year where they
may be reasonably estimated and should also address how shipboard emissions and
their relative percentage contribution to the global inventory may change in future
years, in light of reductions to be made in other sectors as well as other trends that
may be reasonably anticipated through sound scientific analysis;

.3 invited further the Marine Environment Protection Committee to consider what CO2
reduction strategies may be feasible in light of the relationship between CO2 and other
atmospheric and marine pollutants, especially NOx, since NOx emissions may exhibit
an inverse relationship to CO2 reduction; and


.4 urged Member States of the Organization to participate in the study on CO2 emissions referred to above and propose any appropriate strategies to the Marine Environment Protection Committee.


3 The Third Conference of Parties to UNFCCC was held in December 1997 in Kyoto, Japan.


The Conference resulted in a consensus decision (1/CP.3) to adopt a Protocol under which industrialised countries will reduce their combined greenhouse gas emissions by at least 5% compared to 1990 levels by the period 2008 - 2012. This legally binding commitment promises to produce an historic reversal of the upward trend in emissions that started in these countries some 150 years ago.


4 Article 2, paragraph 2 of the Kyoto Protocol states that "the Parties included in Annex I shall pursue the limitation or reduction of greenhouse gases not controlled by the Montreal Protocol from aviation and marine bunker fuels, working through the International Civil Aviation Organization and the International Maritime Organization, respectively".


5 In view of resolution 8, adopted by the Conference of Parties to MARPOL 73/78, and taking into account the Kyoto Protocol to UNFCCC, the Committee at its forty-second session, agreed to invite the Secretariat of IMO to undertake a study concerning greenhouse gas emissions from ships by engaging a consultant qualified in the relevant subject areas. The final report on the outcome of the Study has been submitted to this session of the Committee under the cover of document MEPC 45/8.


6 With regard to co-operation between the Secretariats of IMO and UNFCCC, which has been formalised by exchange of letters between the Secretary-General of IMO and the Executive Secretary of UNFCCC and the exchange of relevant information related to greenhouse gas emissions between the two Secretariats, the co-operation is now routine. A status of the co-operation is reported to the Committee in document MEPC 45/8/2.


7 Under UNFCCC the issue related to emissions based on fuel oil sold to ships engaged in international transportation, is under consideration by the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA). At MEPC 44 a representative of the UNFCCC provided information on:


.1 difficulties experienced by a large number of countries in reporting the appropriate
split into domestic and international emissions of greenhouse gases in their national


.2 considerations by UNFCCC on how international emissions in the future may be
included in overall greenhouse gases inventories of Parties to UNFCCCC; and


.3 the continuation and additional possibilities of co-operation between the secretariats
of IMO and UNFCCC, and IMO support to the future work of UNFCCC with regard
to possible allocation of emissions.

8 In addition, the Committee may recall that the fifth session of the Conference of Parties (COP) to UNFCCC, and the eleventh session of SBSTA were held jointly from 25 October to 5 November 1999 in Bonn, Germany. Both meetings discussed matters relating to emissions resulting from fuel used for international transport. The conclusions of SBSTA 11 on emissions resulting from fuel used for international transportation and the decision of COP 5 on emission based upon fuel sold to ship and aircraft engaged in international transport was reported to the Committee at its last session (MEPC 44/11).


Action requested of the Committee


9 The Committee is invited to note the above and take action as appropriate.






















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