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The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is looking at ways to ‘keep on track’ with the work its subcommittees are doing to combat climate change – despite the disruption that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused to the meeting schedule.

At a ‘virtual meeting’ held on Thursday (23 April), IMO Member States’ permanent representatives and liaison officers discussed the development of a proposal on rescheduling IMO meetings that have been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In a statement issued today (27 April), IMO said that a ‘priority list’ has been drawn up that will be considered by the thirty-second extraordinary session of the IMO Council.

According to IMO: ‘The proposal gives priority to a regular session of the IMO Council, followed by meetings of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) - which will be preceded by the 7th meeting of the Intersessional Working Group on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships - and to the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC). Resuming physical meetings will depend on guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO) and UK Government guidance as well as the national situation of IMO Member States.’

IMO’s Secretary-General Kitack Lim said that the ‘priority on the MEPC and GHG working group highlighted IMO’s continued commitment to moving forward with combatting climate change, without undue delay’. Participants at Thursday’s virtual meeting were also told that the 4th IMO GHG study, which will provide data on GHG emission from ships up to 2018 and future projections, is on schedule to be completed by late 2020. 

The next extraordinary session of the Council (C ES 32) will start on 4 May. It will be held by correspondence over two months, to allow time for Member States to communicate on various agenda items, including holding meetings in future.




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