IMO finalises the short-term emissions reduction measure, Finland's concerns heard

Press release 20.06.2022 08.00 fi sv en

Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka. (Image: Laura Kotila / VNK)

The Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) met on 6–10 June 2022. At the remote meeting, guidelines were adopted to specify the short-term emissions reduction measure negotiated already in June 2021. The measure aims at improving the energy efficiency of existing ships and at limiting their carbon intensity.

Finland's objective was that the general level of climate ambition of short-term measures not be lowered and that the special circumstances of winter shipping be taken into account in the guidelines. Both objectives were achieved. In the new regulation negotiated at the meeting, ice-strengthened ships will be considered with correction factors. 

“Consideration of the ice-strengthened ships in the global emissions regulation is very important for Finland. This result achieved in the IMO shows that the principle of equal treatment of ships continues to be internationally maintained,” says Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka.

There was hardly any time at the session to discuss the mid-term emissions reduction measures. Finland supports the combination of a global fuel standard and an economic steering instrument proposed by EU Member States.

The proposals advocated by Finland for the IMO’s new working arrangements for emissions reduction negotiations did not progress at this session. The aim of the arrangements proposed by Finland is to make the negotiation process more efficient. The matter will, however, remain on the agenda and be resolved as soon as the meetings are again held at the IMO headquarters in London. The meetings of the Marine Environment Protection Committee may convene there in December this year.

Mediterranean Sea designated as Sulphur Emission Control Area

The session initially adopted a decision to designate the entire Mediterranean Sea as a Sulphur Emission Control Area, SECA. This is a result of several years of efforts, especially by EU Member States. The proposal was submitted by all Mediterranean coastal states and, because of the exclusive competence of the EU based on the Sulphur Directive, by all EU Member States.

Finland has played a role in preparing the proposal, for example by sharing good experiences with regard to the Baltic Sea. In addition, the Finnish Meteorological Institute was involved in carrying out the emissions and impact assessments of the proposal. The Baltic Sea has been a designated SECA area since 2015.

What’s next?

Negotiations on mid- and long-term emissions reduction measures and on updating the IMO's initial greenhouse gas strategy will continue in December 2022 both at the 13th meeting of the Working Group on GHG and at the 79th session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee.

Inquiries:

Anita Mäkinen, Chief Specialist, Deputy Permanent Representative of Finland to the IMO, Transport and Communications Agency Traficom, tel. +358 40 162 4592, anita.makinen@traficom.fi, Twitter @AnitaMakinen

Eero Hokkanen, Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Transport and Communications, tel. +358 50 476 0401, eero.hokkanen@gov.fi, Twitter @eerohokkanen