Shipowners/operators hoping for a last minute deferral of the imposition of the 0.5% global sulphur cap on marine fuels in 2020 will be deeply disappointed.
IMO secretary general Ki-Tack Lim opened the fifth session of the Subcommittee on Pollution Prevention and Response with a stark warning: “There is no turning back.”
The secretary general continued: “The lower global sulphur limit will have a significant beneficial impact on the environment and on human health, particularly that of people living in port cities and coastal communities.
“Consistent implementation to all ships will ensure a level playing field is maintained, with the result that the expected improvement of the environment and human health will be achieved. The large number of submissions on the matter indicates its importance and significance in the minds of all parties concerned.
“I am confident that the Sub-Committee, with the assistance of an intersessional meeting scheduled later this year, will, once again, rise to the challenge to ensure timely completion of this vital work. This will no doubt project, to the wider world community, the image of an organization that is effective in the exercise of its regulatory mandate related to environmental health and united in its determination to ensure that international shipping remains the most environmentally sound mode of transport,” he added.
Earlier in January leading shipping and environmental organizations such as the International Chamber of Shipping are lobbying the International Maritime Organization to consider banning the carriage of non-compliant marine fuels when the global sulphur cap takes effect in 2020, in a effort to ensure across the industry compliance.