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The 76th session of the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Marine Environment Protection Committee is getting underway today and will run through to 17 June.

The key topics for the meeting – which is being held remotely – will include the adoption of short-term measures to cut the carbon intensity of ships and discussion on the way forward with the next steps.  

Specifically, the MEPC will be considering – and likely adopting – draft amendments that relate to two short term measures: the technical requirement to reduce carbon intensity, based on a new Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI); and the operational carbon intensity reduction requirements, based on a new carbon intensity indicator (CII).

The meeting will also look to adopt draft amendments to MARPOL Annex I that will prohibit the use and carriage for use as fuel of heavy fuel oil (HFO) by ships in Arctic waters on and after 1 July 2024. Ships engaged in securing the safety of ships, or in search and rescue operations, and ships dedicated to oil spill preparedness and response would be exempted from the prohibition, while ships which meet certain construction standards with regard to oil fuel tank protection would need to comply on and after 1 July 2029. 

In addition, the MEPC is expected to discuss a number of submissions on how to progress the next stages of IMO’s work to cut GHG emissions form ships, leading to the revision of the initial GHG strategy in 2023. 

In particular, the industry will be hoping to see further progress on the proposals for a maritime decarbonisation R&D fund and at least some discussion on the prospects of a carbon tax/price and market-based measures (MBMs) to incentivise the energy transition.

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