After years of threatening regional EU action if the IMO didn’t tackle GHG emissions from ships, the European Commission has started 2011 by announcing a consultation on options for an EU measure.

After years of threatening regional EU action if the IMO didn’t tackle GHG emissions from ships, the European Commission has started 2011 by announcing a consultation on options for an EU measure.

The EU gave the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and the global community until the end of 2011 to show that it was serious about tackling GHG emissions from shipping. With that date fast approaching and the IMO still bogged down in discussions over principles, the announcement by the Commission is a welcome one.

The European Climate Change Programme working group on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from ships (UCCP WG-SHIP) will meet three times in the first half of the year and includes representatives from Member States, the European Parliament, research bodies, the shipping industry and environmental NGOs including Seas At Risk.

The first meeting takes place in Brussels on February 8-9th.

The objective of the working group is to “provide input to the Commission in its work to develop and assess options for the inclusion of international maritime transport in the EU's greenhouse gas reduction commitment”.

In parallel, the Commission’s DG CLIMA and DG MOVE are organising a series of “High Level Platform” meetings involving Ministers and CEOs from industry and from the main environment groups to discuss related issues. The first of these meetings takes place in Brussels on February 3rd and the President of the Clean Shipping Coalition will attend.

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