Greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions


BIMCO's position on "greenhouse gases emissions" has been approved by the BIMCO Board of Directors.


Reduction of GHG emissions from international shipping has been on the IMO agenda for many years. Regulatory requirements for new ships’ energy efficiency were incorporated in MARPOL Annex VI in 2011 and also a requirement for all ships to carry a ship specific energy efficiency management plan (SEEMP).

Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) have repeatedly recognised that their framework convention is unsuitable to address emissions from international shipping, and left the initiative to IMO. The Paris Agreement, adopted at COP 21 in December 2015, is thus silent about emissions from international shipping.  It does, however, expect all sectors of the economy to contribute to the global efforts.

The IMO has agreed to pursue further discussion on GHG emissions via a 3-step approach, with the first step being a data collection scheme to form the basis of the second step, being data analysis. The third step is a discussion and potential agreement on further measures to enhance energy efficiency in international shipping if required.  The IMO agreed a Road Map to develop a Comprehensive IMO GHG Strategy by 2023. The Road Map includes an initial strategy to be adopted by 2018, to coincide with the first stock taking exercise of national actions to meet the Paris Agreement ambitions under the UNFCCC.

BIMCO’s position

  • Regulation of GHG must be adopted within IMO and be transparent, harmonised and applicable to all ships. Any possible GHG regulation for shipping should not limit transport supply. The objective is to limit GHG emissions from ships without compromising the shipping industry’s irreplaceable role in the global supply chain.
  • The mandatory Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) for new ships and the Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP) for all ships are effective regulation of CO2 emissions and provide, in BIMCO’s view, a tangible contribution to the global efforts to combat climate change.  If it is decided that there should be a strengthening of EEDI targets, this should be implemented through the introduction of additional phases rather than amending the existing agreed phases.
  • BIMCO supports the agreed 3-step approach to enhancing energy efficiency of international shipping and welcomes the IMO adoption of a mandatory data collection scheme as the first step. Furthermore, in-sector emissions reduction efforts should be part of the Comprehensive IMO GHG Strategy. 
  • BIMCO has established a set of guiding principles:
  1. Aspirational targets should be realistic and deliverable, without a need to buy off-sets.
  2. The industry should not be required to contribute to the UNFCCC Green Fund.
  3. Funds should be collected in the industry for research and development (R&D) and for      improvement of the existing fleet.
  • BIMCO supports setting an aspirational objective for international shipping that reflects 2008 as the peak year for emissions from international shipping. BIMCO further supports the aspiration of doubling the overall transport efficiency by 2050 compared to 2008.
  • Operational efficiency indices, such as the IMO Energy Efficiency Operational Indicator (EEOI), are overly simplistic or even misleading on an individual ship basis and therefore irrelevant. Also, such indices could be wrongly perceived as valid selection criteria when assessing the efficiency of a ship prior to chartering.
  • Regulations should provide incentives for owners to invest in low-carbon technology. If technical and operational measures cannot wholly meet agreed reduction targets, then any funds generated by means of a globally applied Market Based Measure (MBM) for shipping must be controlled by the IMO and mostly be disbursed to support further technological development focused on energy efficiency in shipping aimed at new and existing ships.
  • BIMCO insists that it is imperative that EU must align its MRV regulation to IMO’s data collection system.


Rasmus Nord Jorgensen
in Copenhagen, DK

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