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Breaking Stories

Environmental groups assert that IMO's proposed efforts lack the regulation and enforcement needed to reduce shipping emissions in accordance with global emissions reduction targets over next decade.


After a week of deliberations held by the IMO, the result is a poorly supported climate plan that lacks ambition, may allow maritime transport emissions to rise over the coming decade.


Please find additional details at the link below: 

The delegates at the IMO failed to agree upon actions to regulate the shipping industry in line with Paris Agreement targets, which they had agreed to decide upon in 2018. 

Weak enforcement over IMO laws in the recent oil spill in Mauritius spurred protests and highlighted the weaknesses of the IMO, which may lead to fractures in the organization along socio-political/economic faults.


  • To meet the 1.5C scenario as scientists have argued for and was included in the Paris Agreement, carbon emissions from shipping need to be reduced to 350 million a year, a reduction of 75% within a decade.
  • To meet the less ambitious 2018 ‘historic agreement’ for shipping, emissions only need to be reduced by 15% to reach 850 million tons a year by 2030.
  • If nothing was done at all, global carbon dioxide emissions would actually increase by 15% by 2030.
  • And so the outcomes of this week’s talks show carbon dioxide emissions increasing by 14% by 2030 (with weak enforcement) rather than being forced to come down.

The Paris Agreement showed the need to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. 1) Ships would need to become more efficient with existing fuel systems, and 2) Within ten years, new ships need to be produced at commercial scale using alternative fuels to enable the switch to alternative energy sources than fossil fuels.

The IMO failed to make progress on its own climate strategy requiring these actions.

Details on the week's proceedings are available at the link below: 

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was ratified by its 50th country this past week, and it will become international law in 90 days.

315 nuclear weapons tests were conducted by American, British, and French colonizing forces in RMI, Kiribati, Australia and Maohi Nui (French Polynesia).

In the formation of the nuclear ban treaty, Pacific survivor voices were prominent alongside those of Hibakusha survivors from Japan, and the nations of the Pacific have led the charge in getting the treaty moved into effect. Fiji, Kiribati, Palau, Samoa, Vanuatu, Tuvalu, New Zealand and Nauru have signed and ratified. Niue and Cook Islands have acceded.

Set to become law despite opposition from the five original nuclear powers, the US, Russia, China, Britain and France.

The late Tony de Brum, spoke heavily on the nuclear legacy, "Every time one of those things went off, it was yet another trauma – I would challenge anyone to live through 12 years of testing in the Marshalls, that does not come away with a permanent scar somewhere in your system. That is a mark of that period."


For additional details on the newly ratified treaty and the diplomatic history surrounding it, please visit the link below: 

The shipping industry has grown 250% by registered deadweight tonnage since 2000, increasing from 800m DWT to over 2b DWT across over 60,000 vessels. It is expected another 50% in growth will occur between 2020-2030. 50% of the world’s ships are registered in Panama, Liberia and the Marshall Islands, with another 20% in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Malta.

Concerns around the lower inspection standards and environmental/human safety risks abound around Flags of Convenience. 

Flag states have a huge influence on setting environmental standards in the IMO, and coupled with lax inspection standards, the regulators are enabling global subsidies of over US$500b per year for the oil industry.

For an extensive feature on the issues confronting the IMO and global shipping industry considering attribution of responsibilities for decarbonization, please visit the link below: