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The level of ambition of the proposed Amendments to the MARPOL Convention ‘is not strict enough to utilise the full reduction potential of innovative energy-saving technologies and available alternative fuels,’ two shipbuilding organisations have warned.

Ahead of the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Marine Environmental Protection Committee (MEPC 75) this week, Shipyards’ & Maritime Equipment Association (SEA Europe) and CESA say shipping’s governing body’s mandatory measures for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions risk disadvantaging the industry’s shipbuilding sector.

In a statement issued today (16 November), SEA Europe and CESA argue that retrofitting to a newbuilding standard is technically feasible. But the proposed reduction rates of the energy efficiency index for existing ships (EEXI), ‘are not living up to the state-of-the-art in ship technology’ and will ‘only be applied once’.

In terms of the operational requirements, SEA Europe and CESA argue the reduction potential of the new Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII) ‘is still unclear’ because no mandatory measures for verification and enforcement have been developed so far.

Compliance with reduced CII values is based on the self-assessment of management plans instead of robust corrective measures for sub-standard ships. SEA Europe and CESA warn that, if not rectified at MEPC 75, this ‘weak point’ will lead to ‘considerable’ distortion of competition and disadvantage progressive shipowners and shipbuilding companies economically. The shipbuilding organisations say it will also undermine the incentive to innovate.

‘IMO needs a more robust GHG strategy, which is enforcing what is technically feasible,’ said CESA’s Accredited Representative to IMO, Dr. Ralf Sören Marquardt. ‘To increase regulatory efficiency in climate protection, the IMO members need to increase its ecological payload.’

Highlighting the European dimension, CESA and SEA Europe’s Secretary General, Christophe Tytgat, said: ‘The EU Green Deal also applies to shipping. With this lack of international ambition, political pressure on the EU to move forward with regional measures is now very likely.

‘European maritime technology providers call for measures to accelerate the deployment of green technologies and a stable regulatory framework that incentivises first movers and supports their investments.’

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