The 32nd Assembly of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) will conclude today, after the newly elected Council adopts its 2018-2023
The 32nd Assembly of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) will conclude today, after the newly elected Council adopts its 2018-2023 Strategic Plan and selects its Chair and Vice-Chair for the next biennium.
The IMO, a specialized UN agency tasked with shipping regulation and maritime security, will undergo changes after its election. Several South American and African nations lost council seats, while Europe, the South Pacific and the Middle East gained representation.
The council has prioritized decarbonization initiatives and new technologies for greener shipping in a post-pandemic world. However, a number of climate-vulnerable, developing nations that pushed for more ambitious decarbonization measures failed to secure enough votes for re-election to the council. This lack of representation may compromise the IMO’s decarbonization and green technology priorities, as oil and gas giants, including Saudi Arabia, were elected to join the Council.
The IMO Assembly has failed to bring about larger-scale environmental measures, despite rising pressure to upgrade its climate targets, as many consider its current goal of a 50% greenhouse gas decrease by 2050 insufficient. However, the IMO shows promise with some recently adopted amendments to reduce emissions and operational carbon intensity of shipping vessels, which should go into effect in January 2023.
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