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Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Transparency International Questions IMO’s Climate Goals

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

July 2, 2018

Image: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

Image: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

 Transparency International is releasing a new report that highlights several transparency and accountability flaws that could hinder the International Maritime Organization (IMO)'s ability to deliver on its own climate goals in reducing carbon emissions. 

The report entitled, “Governance at the International Maritime Organisation: The Case for Reform,” outlines several key policy issues and recommendations that the IMO, the United Nation’s leading shipping agency, must address in order to meet international standards for transparency, accountability, and integrity. 
 
These changes are essential if the IMO is going to honour its environmental and climate mandates and reach a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions of at least 50 per cent by 2050.
 
“In order for the IMO to meet its ambitious goals to reduce shipping emissions, several things need to change,” said Rueben Lifuka, vice chair of Transparency International.  
 
Rueben added: “Our biggest recommendation is to transform the IMO’s accountability policies, which are currently hindering policymaking and leaving the agency susceptible to private influence. While the IMO’s initial strategy adopted in April is a big step forward for the international shipping sector, more must be done to ensure the agency meets its targets.”
 
Currently, if left unchecked, shipping emissions could grow from approximately 2.5 per cent to 17 per cent by 2050. However, to limit the rise in global temperatures by one-and-a-half-degree, as outlined in the Paris Agreement, some research suggests this number must actually reach zero by 2050. As the principal international body tackling shipping issues, the IMO has a significant role to play in curbing emissions.
 
However, in its current set-up, the IMO is at risk of severely under-delivering on its targets. The report finds several specific flaws in the IMO governance structure, including a disproportionate influence of private industry over the IMO and an unequal influence of certain Member States in the policymaking process. In addition, the agency suffers from an increase in privately-operated registries in states that serve as tax havens and a lack of delegate accountability.
 
Following the release of Transparency International’s preliminary report findings in April 2018, some Member States have since raised similar concerns, however, the IMO has yet to commit to any concrete reforms.
 
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