More ambitious emission reduction targets for global shipping to be negotiated by the IMO

Ministry of Transport and Communications
Publication date 3.7.2023 8.30 | Published in English on 4.7.2023 at 9.53
Press release
Finnlinesin rahtialus merellä, taustalla puista mannerta
Photo: Mika Pakarinen, Keksi/LVM

The Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) is meeting in London from 3–7 July 2023. The 80th session of the MEPC is expected to adopt a revised IMO greenhouse gas strategy. The meeting will also discuss global solutions for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from ships and the regulation of ships’ energy efficiency and ballast water management.

The Finnish delegation to London is led by Permanent Secretary Minna Kivimäki from the Ministry of Transport and Communications. Kivimäki is also a candidate for the post of Secretary-General of the IMO. The election will take place on 18 July 2023.

“It is essential that emissions from shipping are purposefully reduced by establishing global targets and actions,” Kivimäki says. 

“Agreeing on clear targets and effective measures at the global level at the IMO makes it possible to ensure a fair competitive landscape and the competitiveness of the shipping industry,” Kivimäki adds. 

Finland supports more ambitious global targets for reducing emissions

Updating the initial greenhouse gas strategy, which was adopted in 2018, has been discussed by the IMO since November 2021. The strategy sets clear targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping. The strategy also outlines a set of concrete global emission reduction mechanisms that the IMO intends to decide on over the coming years. 

Finland and the other EU Member States support raising the ambition level of the 2050 global emission reduction target from the current level of 50% to 100%, relative to 2008 levels. The need to incorporate intermediate targets into the strategy has also been highlighted in negotiations. Along with other EU Member States, Finland supports a minimum target of 29% for 2030 and a minimum target of 83% for 2040.

Like other EU Member States, Finland considers it important that, by 2030, a minimum of 10% of the energy used in international shipping will be derived from fuels with zero or near-zero greenhouse gas emissions. This target of transitioning to sustainable fuels is necessary for the IMO to provide a clear signal of the direction and speed of the required change to both shipping companies and the distributors of maritime fuels around the world.

Finland and the other EU Member States also propose a combined approach consisting of technical measures based on restricting the GHG content of fuels and economic measures based on global emission levies. Finland supports using the proceeds of potential economic emission reduction mechanisms not only for the development of new ship technologies but also to provide incentives for the use of sustainable maritime fuels and to develop the distribution infrastructure of such fuels around the world. 

During the session, Finland will organise an event in collaboration with the OECD International Transport Forum (ITF) on the special characteristics of short sea shipping in the context of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from shipping. Finland will also hold a reception to promote its IMO campaigns. In addition to putting forward a candidate for the post of IMO Secretary-General, Finland is a candidate for IMO Council membership for the period 2024–2025. 

What’s next?

The Marine Environment Protection Committee is meeting in London from 3–7 July 2023. The meeting is expected to adopt a revised IMO greenhouse gas strategy. 

Negotiations on global emission reduction mechanisms will continue at the next MEPC session in April 2024. Finland’s negotiating positions to be presented at the IMO will be prepared by the Government in collaboration with the Parliament before the session. 

The IMO Council will vote on the new Secretary-General on 18 July. The IMO Assembly will elect the new IMO Council in December. 


Anita Mäkinen, Chief Specialist, Deputy Permanent Representative of Finland to the IMO, Transport and Communications Agency Traficom, tel. +358 40 162 4592, [email protected], Twitter @AnitaMakinen

Eero Hokkanen, Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Transport and Communications, tel. +358 50 476 0401, [email protected], Twitter @eerohokkanen