Critical work must now be done to enable shipping industry to define the ‘level of ambition’ for emissions reduction

London – 31 October 2016The Sustainable Shipping Initiative (“SSI”), a pioneering coalition of companies from across the global shipping industry, today stated that it was cautiously optimistic following progress made at the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) Marine Environmental Protection Committee meeting (MEPC 70). At the event, the IMO and member states set out a roadmap for developing a strategy to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions from shipping by 2023, as called for by the SSI and other industry stakeholders. However, it is critical that significant work be conducted prior to MEPC 71 in May 2017 to ensure the momentum for change is maintained.

“The development of a GHG emissions reduction roadmap to 2023, and the adoption of an initial strategy with short, medium and long-term measures in 2018 is a positive step forwards for the shipping industry,” said Ian Petty, General Manager, the Sustainable Shipping Initiative.

“However, significant work still needs to be conducted to maintain momentum and enable the industry to agree on the level of ambition for emissions reduction.”

The SSI believes that further progress needs to be made in the build up to MEPC 71 in May 2017 and the IMO’s intercessional working group meeting on GHG emissions taking place during the preceding week. This includes a critical assessment of the future predicted demand for shipping in line with global economic growth, a detailed cost benefit analysis, as well as an understanding of current and future capabilities for emissions reduction, which will enable the IMO and member states to agree an appropriate ‘level of ambition’ and a fair playing field for the industry that will see shipping fairly and effectively contribute to achieving the below 2-degrees warming targets agreed at COP21 in December 2015.

The SSI also welcomes the integration of the IMO’s third GHG study (2012) with the MRV data collection scheme, and the provision for the development of a fourth GHG study from 2012 to 2018, which will bridge the gap on data analysis.

Based on research conducted with the University College of London’s Energy Institute, and in line with its own Roadmap to creating a sustainable industry, the SSI believes that average EEOI’s need to reduce by 80% on 2012 levels by 2050. This requires a reduction of between 25%-30% in emissions every decade from now until 2040.

Ian Petty concluded:

“We must be under no illusions that while defining a roadmap is progress, the challenge to reduce shipping’s impact on climate change remains significant. There can be no stalling or derailing of plans. The industry must now continue to work together with purpose and urgency to put in place the elements that will define its contribution to global emissions reduction, so that the real process for action and implementation can begin.”



About the Sustainable Shipping Initiative

The Sustainable Shipping Initiative (SSI) is an independent charity, comprised of ambitious leaders spanning the whole shipping value chain from charterers and ship owners, to ship yards, class societies and technology companies.

The SSI’s objective is to make sustainability mainstream; working with its members and other shipping stakeholders to create a more environmentally responsible, socially conscious, safer, accountable, and more economically profitable industry. One that is truly sustainable by 2040, as outlined in its Vision.

The SSI was founded by global sustainability non-profit organisation Forum for the Future in conjunction with WWF, the global conservation NGO and a number of leading shipping industry companies. Forum for the Future and WWF remain as SSI NGO members.

For further information, please contact:

Nick Blythe

Blue Comms

T + (44) 07917 138 723