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IMO sets out its Rio+20 pledges for global shipping

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has argued that society at large, rather than the shipping industry alone, should shoulder the burden and cost of compliance with stringent emission control standards such as sulphur regulations. The IMO added that in order to cut emissions from shipping proper quality standards for fuel oil should be implemented, as part of its Rio+20 sustainable development goals. The document outlines goals in 10 areas of global shipping and governance, four of which are related to the environment. The first goal, on safety and environmental stewardship, calls for the environmental impact of shipping and maritime industries to be minimised and global standards implemented on pollution prevention. The document makes no reference climate change, and just one to reducing shipping’s carbon footprint through improving energy efficiency. Tackling shipping’s climate impact through the IMO has proved extremely difficult, although a breakthrough was achieved in May that could pave the way for emissions reduction measures. Energy efficiency needs to be “holistic”, involving port services as well as ships themselves, according to the document.