While it had been hoped that the Intersessional Working Group and 74th session of the MEPC would make some progress in deciding which of the many proposals for technical and/or operational measures to reduce GHG emissions should be developed further, in the event the discussions were once more of a primarily political nature, centred around the terms of reference for the fourth GHG Study and the wording of guidelines for the assessment of the impact of proposed measures on states.  Many delegations, most notably those from developing nations, are concerned about the impact that emission reduction measures might have on their economies and want to see potential consequences of any measures being properly investigated before they are imposed.  Other delegations are keen to impose measures as soon as possible whatever the impact might be.  The arguments engendered by this split in approach meant that throughout the two weeks only two short sessions were given over to preliminary discussions of the measures themselves.

A document was developed grouping the measures according to their type, scope, etc. and linkages between the various measures were identified with a view to streamlining and prioritising future work.  The next round of discussions will be held at an intersessional working group in November, followed by a further intersessional meeting immediately prior to MEPC 75 in the Spring of 2020.  It has been emphasised once more that in order to achieve the IMO’s 2030 target of reducing the carbon intensity of shipping by 40%, short term measures must be in force and delivering emission reductions before 2023.  In order to achieve this the regulatory text for whatever measures are finally agreed must have been finalised for approval at the very latest by MEPC 76 in Autumn 2020.  The lack of progress over the last two weeks means that no proposal has been ruled out yet and future discussions are likely to be rushed in order to meet the deadline.  

Details of the grouping of measures and linkages can be found in the Members’ Area.