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 European Union has not forgotten the commitments made at the Rio+20 conference six months ago according to Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik. This year, the European Commission will publish results of the follow-up work, six months after the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro. Rio+20 ended without any major binding commitments by participating countries and progress on climate change is far from visible.