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Mobility and Transport
News article13 April 2018Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport

Commissioners Bulc and Arias Cañete welcome the IMO agreement on CO2 reductions in the maritime sector

Following the agreement reached today at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) on an initial strategy to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from international shipping, Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc and Commissioner for Energy and Climate Action Miguel Arias Cañete issued the following statement:

"The agreement reached today at the IMO is a significant step forward in the global efforts to tackle climate change. The shipping sector must contribute its fair share to the goals of the Paris Agreement.

It contains a clear GHG emission reduction objective of at least 50% by 2050, compared to 2008 levels, with a view to phase out the GHG emissions of the sector as soon as possible in this century. It is also accompanied by a comprehensive list of possible reduction measures, including short-term measures. While the EU had sought a higher level of ambition, this is a good starting point that will allow for further review and improvements over time.

The EU and its Member States played an instrumental role in brokering and securing this deal with our international partners. This is another example of the EU becoming a stronger global actor to spur strong and credible climate action.

For this initial strategy to succeed, it is now crucial that effective reduction measures are swiftly adopted and put in place before 2023. Preparations on longer term actions should also begin.

The EU is committed to continue playing an active role and pursue strong and credible global action on shipping emissions. We will continue to engage with all international partners, as we did this week in IMO."


As outlined in the Commission's Communication "the Road from Paris", the European Union is fully committed to step up its climate diplomacy and collaboration with other partners in order to keep the momentum behind the implementation of the Paris Agreement. This includes active engagement within the International Maritime Organisation, the UN-agency overseeing international shipping.

Shipping currently represents 2-3% of global CO2 emissions and could reach 10% by 2050 if no action is taken. In order to tackle this, the IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) met this week to agree on an initial strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping. During these talks, the EU advocated the highest level of ambition while recognising that emission reduction measures could impact small developing islands states and least developed countries. For this reason, the EU is funding a €10 million capacity-building project managed by the IMO.

More information

IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee

EU-IMO Capacity Building project for climate change mitigation in the maritime shipping industry

MEMO: 72nd session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 70) at the International Maritime Organization (IMO)


Publication date
13 April 2018
Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport