IMO working group makes some headway, but is it enough?

At the 15th Intersessional Working Group on Greenhouse Gases (ISWG GHG 15), which formally concluded last week, bit which will be sitting again this week in parallel with the plenary session, key details appeared to remain unsettled. There were however hopes that some of the problems could be resolved before the end of MEPC 80, being held in London this week.

  • The Levels of Ambition (LOA) for the Revised Strategy – specifically whether its aims were in line with any route towards limiting global warming to 1.5C.
  • The commitment to the concept of “lifecycle coverage” of emissions, and the need to avoid shifting emissions from sea to land.
  • If the Revised Strategy represented a commitment to a just and equitable transition.
  • When the mid-term measures (progress towards the 2050 target and now termed “indicative checkpoints”) might be adopted and enter into force between 2030 and 2040.

The current leading proposal was said to be a 20% GHG reduction by 2030 and 70% by 2040, on a lifecycle (“well-to-wake”) basis. However, that would make it difficult-to-impossible to claim that the IMO’s GHG reduction strategy was aligned with the 1.5C temperature goal.

On Tuesday a draft GHG document from NGO Pacific Environment said that a 20% drop by 2030 & 70% by 2040 were not aligned with the Paris Agreement. It said that 37% was needed by 2030 and 96% by 2040, because anything less would not guarantee 1.5C alignment.

Modelling shows these targets if agreed that “global shipping industry will exhaust carbon budget by 2031” .

There was significant and coordinated opposition to the levy proposals, a majority supported it. But the main session will be a different forum.