IMO CONSIDERS ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION MEASURES FOR SHIPS
The marine environment protection committee of the International Maritime Organization has discussed guidelines on the recycling of ships and the reduction of their greenhouse gas emissions. The talks involved delegates from 86 IMO member states, two United Nations specialized agencies, five intergovernmental organizations and 35 non-governmental organizations.
The IMO said that its guidelines on ship recycling were discussed in detail, with a view to producing a final draft for adoption by the next IMO assembly in 2003. The draft guidelines note that, in the process of recycling ships, “virtually nothing goes to waste.” Steel, other materials and equipment are almost entirely reused.
However, the IMO guidelines “recognize that, while the principle of ship recycling may be sound, the working practices and environmental standards in the yards often leave much to be desired,” the organization said.
The guidelines have been developed to give advice to all stakeholders in the recycling process, including administrations of ship building and maritime equipment supplying countries, flag, port and “recycling” states, as well as intergovernmental organizations and commercial bodies such as shipowners, ship builders, repairers and recycling yards.
The guidelines also include the concept of a 'green passport' for ships — a document containing an inventory of all materials potentially hazardous to human health or the environment, used in the construction of a ship. ,The document, produced by the shipyard at the construction stage, would be passed to the purchaser of the vessel and accompany the ship throughout its working life.
The marine environment protection committee approved in principle a draft IMO assembly resolution on greenhouse gas emissions from ships, and invited member governments to submit comments with a view to its finalization.
The IMO aims to identify and develop the mechanism or mechanisms needed to achieve the limitation or reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping. In doing so, it wants to give priority to the establishment of a greenhouse gas emission baseline, and the development of a methodology to describe the greenhouse gas efficiency of a ship expressed as a “greenhouse gas-index” for that ship. CO2 is the main greenhouse gas emitted by ships.
The IMO resolution also calls for governments, in cooperation with the shipping industry, to promote and implement voluntary measures to limit or reduce greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping.
The 48th session of the marine environment protection committee was chaired by Mike Julian from Australia and held at IMO headquarters in London between Oct. 7 and 11.