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Climate Change, IMO, Shipping, GHG Emissions, Paris Agreement


This article assesses the IMO’s 2018 Strategy to reduce GHG emissions from international shipping in light of the long-term goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, and considers its ambition, adequacy and effectiveness in ensuring a fair contribution to the global decarbonization effort. The article proceeds in four parts. In Part 1, we offer a brief history of efforts to reduce emissions from international shipping under the UN Climate Regime. This is followed in Part 2 with a similar overview of historical efforts under the IMO. In Part 3, we discuss the key elements of the 2018 IMO Strategy, followed by an assessment of its strengths and weaknesses in Part 4.


This is a pre-print of an article which was later published as Meinhard Doelle & Aldo Chircop, "Decarbonizing International Shipping: An Appraisal of the IMO's Initial Strategy" (2019) 28:3 RECIEL 268, available at: