This paper discusses the issue of Impact Assessments required for measures proposed under the IMO’s Initial IMO Strategy on reduction of GHG emissions from ships. It has been prepared to provide background information and analysis to Pacific high ambition delegations participating in ongoing negotiations at the International Maritime Organisation negotiating Greenhouse Gas emission reductions for international shipping. At the same time, the content may be useful to inform other delegations and actors.
The issues surrounding Impact Assessments will arise throughout the 2022 IMO negotiating sessions. The IMO Secretariat has designated a ‘lessons learnt’ exercise, commencing with an Ad Hoc Experts Working Group prior to ISWG11. Pacific states are heavily invested in this issue. Pacific SIDS will clearly be amongst the most heavily affected if abatement measures for shipping emissions generate negative impacts on states. At the same time, these states are pressing for the highest ambition measures possible to maintain a 1.5 agenda as quickly as possible.
It is important that delegations and negotiators are fully appraised on the origins of this discussion at IMO (and its more broader context) as the definitions applied this year will have far reaching consequences for the matters of prime concern to the Pacific, in particular the level of ambition and the definition of “equitable transition”.