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Major Step Towards Maritime Contribution to Climate Action

Marine Environment Protection Committee Adopts Energy Efficiency Design Index.

With the decision on Friday 15 July, the International Maritime Organization has demonstrated its capability to achieve results behind global climate action related to ship emissions. CESA congratulates IMO and in particular the Chairman of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) for the successful management of this technically demanding and politically highly sensitive discourse. We are pleased to note that our efforts to constructively contribute to the process over the past nearly three years have borne fruit as a number of our proposed amendments were accepted.

The decisions of the MEPC include a demanding work program for the next three years to deal with many of the remaining technical details. CESA will remain committed to contribute its expertise.

While the progress achieved is highly appreciated, CESA takes the opportunity to underline that further substantial efforts from the international maritime community in particular in relation to the operation of existing vessels will be necessary in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with the general scientific view on the required action to combat climate change.

Particularly on the shorter term perspective of 2020, for which Europe established the reduction goal of at least 20% below 1990 levels, the decisions now adopted will have marginal impact at best. CESA therefore expects additional European action to be proposed by the European Commission before the end of the year. While such measures seem generally justified, CESA urges the European institutions to ensure that competitiveness considerations are fully taken into account. If regional action is deemed unavoidable, such measures should focus on supporting companies’ efforts to save energy and thereby strengthen their competitiveness. Since regional measures always threaten to distort competition, it must be ensured that any funds generated by market based measures would be fully reused within the sector. Such measure would help the industry to prepare early on for a future with more and more costly fossil fuels.

Reinhard Lüken underlined: “With better application of the available and affordable state of the art technologies average fuel savings of 20% are realistic already today. The European maritime manufacturing industries, shipyards, equipment makers, research institutes and others, will continue to invest in research and development to further advance the efficiency of ships.” Whilst acknowledging the principle of technical co-operation in the global fight against climate change, as also mentioned in the MEPC decision, Lüken stresses the need for effective measures to protect intellectual property as a necessity to stimulate further innovation. He said: “Many European technology companies are ready to cooperate with producers in developing countries subject to commercial agreements. Technology transfer without adequate compensation would wipe out the motivation of commercial companies to invest in research and development. Negative impact on the commercial interests of innovators would bring technological progress to a halt and prevent further efficiency gains”.

Within the GuardSHIP initiative, CESA already created a competence center for the protection of intellectual property, which includes a brokerage service to support solutions between technology providers and technology seekers.

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