The 78th session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) opened on the 6th June 2022 as a virtual session. As per an IMO press release, one of the main topics of discussion will be the reduction of GHG emissions from international shipping.
In his opening remarks, IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said: “It is therefore of utmost importance that IMO continues to deliver concrete progress in transitioning international shipping from fossil fuels to low and zero-carbon alternatives. It is our duty to join worldwide commitments of increased ambition toward tackling climate change. I appreciate the commitment and the efforts of all Member States and the industry for the outstanding work and achievements we have made so far.
Now we must be brave and let our industry lead by example and provide substantial progress in our work.”
The MEPC is expected to deliberate and discuss marine plastic pollution from ships, the marking of fishing gear, and on the work towards a binding instrument to address plastic pollution under the IMO Action Plan and Strategy to address marine plastic litter from ships.
The session is also expected to consider ballast water management, data analysis report of the experience-building phase associated with the BWM Convention, and decide on the way forward with regard to the next stage of this very important process, entailing the comprehensive review of the Convention.
Other matters that will be up for discussion include the adoption of updated guidelines for brief sampling, inspection, and survey and certification of anti-fouling systems on ships, the approval of draft amendments to MARPOL to allow States with ports in the Arctic region to enter into regional arrangements for port reception facilities.
“The way forward on many of the topics to be considered at this session may be complex, but by working together with determination, I have every confidence that we will ensure that shipping will continue to make a key contribution in the fight against climate change and to achieve cleaner oceans. Collaborative and considerate actions are instrumental to making sure that no one is left behind.” added Lim.
About MEPC : The Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) addresses environmental issues under IMO’s remit. This includes the control and prevention of ship-source pollution covered by the MARPOL treaty, including oil, chemicals carried in bulk, sewage, garbage and emissions from ships, including air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions. Other matters covered include ballast water management, anti-fouling systems, ship recycling, pollution preparedness and response, and identification of special areas and particularly sensitive sea areas.