Thursday, April 21, 2011

Freight Shipbuilding Giant Addresses Problem Of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Maximum Attention to be Paid to Emissions and Fuel Consumption
Shipping News Feature

UK – SOUTH KOREA – WORLDWIDE – The past few decades have seen a huge readjustment of industry as the heavy engineering sector has become increasingly important to emerging economies. Today, in a move which reinforces Korea’s position as the largest global supplier of container ships, tankers and bulk freight vessels, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the Korea International Co-operation Agency (KOICA) signed a Co-operation Agreement at the IMO’s London Headquarters, for implementation of a pioneering technical co-operation project on Building Capacities in East Asian countries to address Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) from Ships.

IMO, through its Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), has developed energy efficiency measures, both for existing and new ships, in a comprehensive package of technical and operational measures to enable the shipping industry to increase its fuel efficiency and reduce its emissions.

At its 62nd session in July 2011, the MEPC will give consideration to making mandatory, under MARPOL Annex VI, the package of technical and operational measures, which include an Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) for new ships; a Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP) for all ships; and an Energy Efficiency Operational Indicator (EEOI) for all ships.

The co-operation between KOICA and IMO through this project is part of a much broader climate change initiative by the Republic of Korea titled the “East Asia Climate Partnerships” which aims to support the Republic of Korea’s efforts to take a lead in reducing carbon emissions and to move towards a low-carbon society, thereby setting a milestone for green growth and in this process to assist the developing countries in the region.

A sum of some US$700,000 will be made available by KOICA under the Agreement, which will fund ten activities to be implemented by IMO over a two-year period. The selected activities will focus on enhancing the capacities of developing countries in East Asia to develop and implement, at the national level, appropriate action on CO2 emissions from shipping, whilst at the same time, promoting sustainable development.

The issue of reducing GHG emissions from ships represents a major concern for IMO Member States and reflects a global consensus on a key issue which affects both developing and developed countries.

Giving priority to technical assistance programmes that focus on human resources development and institutional capacity building to help developing countries improve their ability to comply with impending international rules and standards to address GHG emissions from ships, can make a significant contribution to limiting or reducing GHG emissions from international shipping. The last session of the MEPC underlined these priorities and the current project is an immediate response to such an urgent need identified by the Committee.