Statement from the Global Maritime Forum on the IMO’s revised GHG strategy


Today, in London, the IMO adopted a revised GHG strategy which aims to reach net-zero emissions from international shipping by or around 2050, a remarkable improvement compared to the initial strategy adopted in 2018

The IMO member states showed a spirit of compromise and solidarity when agreeing to more far-reaching indicative 2030 and 2040 checkpoints for emissions reductions in the final stretch of the negotiations. These provide a clear and much needed signal to governments and industry that efficiency measures and lower carbon options alone will not be sufficient, and that zero-emission fuels are required to scale rapidly from 2030 onwards.

The revised strategy also introduces an ambition for zero or near-zero emission fuels and technologies to make up at least five percent, striving for ten percent, of the energy used by international shipping by 2030. This will be especially important for kickstarting the uptake of zero-emission fuels in the early phase of the transition. Importantly, the strategy also adopts a well-to-wake approach, assessing fuels on a life-cycle basis.

Whilst the revised strategy alone is not sufficient to ensure a just and equitable Paris Agreement-aligned transition for shipping, it is an enormously important step in the right direction.

With the revised strategy having been adopted, the IMO’s next step is to develop robust policy measures, to create the necessary incentives for companies to invest in zero-emission fuels and vessels. It will be crucial to do so within the agreed timeline to avoid further delays and uncertainties in the transition.

The industry has repeatedly called for a price on emissions to close the competitiveness gap between fossil fuels and zero-emission solutions. The Global Maritime Forum – through the Getting to Zero Coalition – remains committed to collaborate with the IMO member states in developing economic and technical policies that are both effective and meaningful and can account for the needs of the most climate vulnerable nations, especially Small Island States and Least Developed Countries.

Johannah Christensen, CEO of the Global Maritime Forum

The Global Maritime Forum is an international not-for-profit organization committed to shaping the future of global seaborne trade. It works by bringing together visionary leaders and experts, who through collaboration and collective action strive to increase sustainable long-term economic development and human well-being. Established in 2017, the Global Maritime Forum is funded through a combination of grants and partner contributions but operates independently of any outside influence and does not support individual technologies or companies. Most of its roughly 45-person staff is based in the organization’s headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark.