The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has taken a decisive step to reach the goal of a climate-neutral maritime industry by 2050. IMO’s Greenhouse Gas Strategy has now been adopted by the organization’s Environmental Protection Committee. This strategy includes reduction targets for greenhouse gas emissions until 2030 and 2040 respectively. It also establishes quotas for the introduction of zero or near-zero GHG emitting technologies, fuels, and/or energy sources. With these measures, the maritime industry can make a major contribution to reaching the goals of the Paris climate agreement when the measures supposed are being adopted by 2025 and in force by 2027.

"With IMO's Greenhouse Gas Strategy 2023, we now have the necessary framework for the maritime industry and our efforts to contribute to ongoing global endeavor to mitigate climate change and keep the Paris Agreement's 1.5°C target within reach. The different interests and development levels of the global community have been taken into account. That is positive”, says Dirk Bergmann (Accelleron), Chairman of the CIMAC Greenhouse Gas Strategy Group. Dr. Daniel Chatterjee (Rolls Royce Solutions), CIMAC Vice-President Decarbonization, adds: “The adoption of the strategy is all in all an important step for the maritime industry as a whole, even though the details still need to be defined. The IMO decision helps maintaining course to emission zero!”

“All our efforts have to be focused now on reaching the goal of a net-zero maritime sector”, Rick Boom (Woodward), CIMAC President adds: “Our industry is responsible for 3 % of the global greenhouse gas emissions and we must take care that this percentage will rapidly decrease even though the maritime sector is bound to grow, due to a rising demand for global maritime transportation. With the strategy now adopted we have a long-awaited legal framework to act. The international large engine community is ready and able to drive the transformation ahead. That is one of the main takeaways from our discussions at the CIMAC Congress in June.”

Availability of alternative fuels must be improved

What is still missing is the widespread availability of alternative fuels. Here, further political steps are urgently needed to create the framework to accelerate the production and distribution of alternative fuels and make them available to the maritime industry, the sooner and the more the better. Discussions how to do this are still ongoing, and CIMAC is going to give its practical and constructive input accordingly.

CIMAC is the leading global non-profit Association of the Internal Combustion Machinery Industry consisting of National Member Associations and Corporate Members in 27 Countries in America, Asia and Europe. CIMAC represents the large engine technology sector. This includes diesel and gas engines which are used for power generation, marine propulsion, and locomotives. Our stakeholders include manufacturers, researchers, suppliers and end-users. It is our vision to promote large engine technology power solutions that are efficient, reliable, safe and sustainable and of benefit to society, in pursuit of the transition to a low-carbon future.