The IMO Initial Strategy for the Reduction of GHGs from International Shipping: A Commentary

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Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHGs), International Maritime Organization (IMO) GHG Strategy, International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution From Ships 1973/78 (MARPOL), Paris Agreement


In 2018 the IMO adopted the initial Strategy for the international shipping industry’s reduction of global greenhouse gas emissions towards achieving the goal set in the 2015 Paris Agreement. At this time the Strategy is no more than a preliminary structure to frame the measures that will need to be adopted for the short, medium and long terms. In the short term (2018–2023) a first suite of measures will be adopted, and the initial Strategy will be revised and adopted as changed in 2023 with proposed measures for the medium term (2023–2030) and long term (2030–2050 and beyond). New international standards, tools and best practices will be needed to supplement the existing energy efficiency management rules in the International Convention on the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973/78. This article discusses the Strategy and the role of the IMO in leading the shipping industry on the road to decarbonization.