Agreement about reduction of maritime greenhouse gases should take place in IMO

Ministry of Transport and Communications
Publication date 11.7.2011 9.19
Press release

International Maritime Organization IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee will meet in London between the 11th and 15th of July. The meeting agenda will include, among other things, marine energy efficiency, greenhouse gas emissions by maritime transport and emissions from cruise ships in the Baltic Sea. The meeting delegation includes representatives of the authorities and the business sector.

Finland considers that reduction in maritime greenhouse gases should be agreed on at an international level within the IMO, and that the solution via the use of economic instruments should be found internationally as well. An international solution will best promote environmental objectives, reduce carbon leakage and distortions in competition.

Finland supports the proposal to include, to the MARPOL Convention's Annex for the Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships, the regulations related to the energy efficiency of new vessels and designed to reduce vessels' fuel consumption and thus emissions.

Finland's aim is that the engine power and the correction factors related to ice-strengthening are implemented in such a way that ships' movements in icy conditions are not impaired. Finland will also explore the impacts of the energy efficiency regulations on the needs of ice-breakers and on vessel traffic in the Baltic Sea in connection with the renovation program of the icebreaking fleet.

The aim is to include greenhouse gas emissions from shipping and the reduction targets they are subject to into the new UN climate treaty currently under discussion. The actual mechanisms to reduce emissions are to be prepared at the IMO maritime organization. At the June meeting the policies on how the matter will be taken forward are to be decided.

By the rehabilitation of the Baltic Sea an important step forward will be achieved. The meeting is to approve a joint proposal by the Baltic countries to designate the Baltic Sea a special area where discharge of untreated toilet sewage from cruise ships into the sea is prohibited. The matter has been prepared under the leadership of Finland within the framework of HELCOM or the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission.

Protecting the marine environment is based on international agreements. Among the most important is the MARPOL Convention with its annexes for the prevention of marine pollution caused by ships.

The Convention includes provisions on, among other things, oil and other hazardous substances to the marine environment, ship waste and prevention of air pollution. The Baltic Sea is one of the specific areas defined in the Convention. Emission restrictions in the specific areas are more stringent than normal.

The computational models to improve and define the energy efficiency of new ships are to be included as part of the Convention. For this purpose, the so-called EEDI rules have been prepared. The origin of the acronym EEDI is an English phrase "Energy efficiency design index".

Additional information:
Minna Kivimäki, Director-General, phone +358 (0)40 754 9871, [email protected]
Lolan Eriksson, Senior Adviser, phone +358 (0)40 744 8118, [email protected]