WMO Chief to Address IMO Meeting

Friday, July 06, 2007
Michel Jarraud, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is scheduled to address the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), when it meets for its 56th session from 9 to 13 July, at the Horticultural Halls, London.

Jarraud's participation in the MEPC, on the invitation of IMO Secretary-General Mr. Efthimios E. Mitropoulos, comes as part of a series of events focusing on environmental issues, leading up to the celebration of World Maritime Day on Thursday, September 27, 2007, under the theme "IMO's response to current environmental challenges."

The theme was chosen to give IMO the opportunity to focus on its environmental work (both past and present) and thus intensify its efforts to add the Organization's contribution to that of the international community to protect and preserve the environment.

There are close links between IMO and WMO, given the need for meteorological data, including forecasts and warnings to mariners, in order to support the safety of life at sea. Data on ocean currents and winds are also of relevance if there is an oil slick or other form of pollution.

Through the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) of its 188 Members, WMO has played a crucial role in detecting, and alerting humanity to, climate change and is now at the forefront of responding to this challenge. Its work in this area has included: the publication of the first authoritative statement on the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the potential impact that this process might have on the earth's climate (1976); the establishment of the World Climate Research Programme (1979) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (1988); and the development and adoption of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (1992).

Jarraud is expected to highlight, to the MEPC, the latest findings and projections from the IPCC, including progress made in understanding human and natural drivers of climate change, observed change, climate processes and attribution, as well as estimates of future change. He is also expected to welcome the work of the IMO, through the MEPC, in addressing air pollution from ships, in particular the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from ships.

The MEPC has a packed agenda, which includes the further consideration of options to reduce air pollution from ships; the current draft of a proposed ship recycling convention; issues relating to the implementation of the 2004 Ballast Water Management Convention; and the proposed adoption of a number of amendments to the MARPOL Convention for the prevention of pollution from ships.

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