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A Voice for our Ocean

MEDIA AVAILABILITY AND STATEMENT: Ocean Conservancy experts to participate in March 2024 International Maritime Organization meetings

Ocean Conservancy shipping policy experts available for comment ahead of Intersessional Working Group on the Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships (ISWG-GHG) and Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC)

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LONDON – Ocean Conservancy experts will be attending and are available for comment on the International Maritime Organization (IMO)’s upcoming 16th session of the Intersessional Working Group on the Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships (ISWG-GHG) and the 81st Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) meetings. Ocean Conservancy is participating as part of the Clean Shipping Coalition (CSC) and will be advocating for policies that, at the very minimum, ensure that the industry reduces its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 30% by 2030, 80% by 2040 and reaches zero by no later than 2050; and that this clean energy transition is equitable, just and leaves no country behind.

WHODelaine McCullough – Campaign Manager, Shipping Emissions
Sandra Chiri – International Outreach Manager, Shipping Emissions
Whit Sheard – Senior Director, Shipping Emissions
WHENMarch 11-15: Intersessional Working Group on the Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships (ISWG-GHG-16) meeting
March 18-22: Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC-81) meetings
WHEREIMO Headquarters in London, United Kingdom
4 Albert Embankment, London SE1 7SR, UK
WHATThe IMO is the United Nation’s international shipping regulator responsible for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of pollution by ships. In July 2023, the IMO adopted its 2023 strategy that laid out a pathway to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from shipping by 2050 and a commitment to a just and equitable transition. The upcoming ISWG-GHG-16 and MEPC-81 meetings will focus on creating the policies and binding measures that will propel the industry to achieve these goals and ensure no countries are left behind as the sector transforms  .
CONTACTMadeline Black – Communications Manager [email protected] 


Delaine McCullough, Ocean Conservancy’s shipping emission campaign manager, issued the following statement ahead of the meetings:

“Over the next two weeks, IMO member states must get down to the real work of setting the binding policies that will ensure the shipping industry actually meets–and ideally exceeds–the emission reductions called for in the 2023 greenhouse gas strategy, in order to put international shipping en route to limiting global warming to no more than 1.5o C to avoid the worst impacts climate breakdown.”

“There are several pieces to this policy puzzle, including maximizing vessel energy efficiency through a stronger and enforceable Carbon Intensity Indicator, the current IMO efficiency measure, which is essential in both the short term to meet 2030 targeted emission cuts and in the long term for minimizing the costs of cleaning up the industry.   

“There is no time to waste debating any proposals that will fail to deliver on either maritime pollution or an equitable transition. Instead, the IMO must focus on strengthening energy efficiency measures, implementing technical and economic policies that effectively drive industry action, and ensuring a zero-emission maritime energy transition that leaves no one behind.

“While much of the IMO negotiations will focus on how to accelerate the energy transition, It is critical that this transformation does not come at the expense of geographically remote and climate-vulnerable countries, especially small islands, that already face high shipping costs and are being forced to adapt to the impacts of climate change—a crisis these countries contributed to the least.

“The time for ambitious, thoughtful action is now.” 



Ocean Conservancy’s policy priorities at the IMO include:

  • Improving the Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII) to raise ship energy efficiency while fostering greater transparency and driving deep and lasting reductions in pollution.
  • Clear, enforceable fuel/energy standards that will catalyze the transition to clean energy. By incentivizing investment in wind power and zero-GHG fuels, these standards will reduce emissions and spur the creation of green jobs and resilient economies worldwide.
  • Holding polluters accountable via a greenhouse gas emission fee, such as the levy of $150/ton of pollution proposed by Pacific Island states and Belize, to incentivize greater efficiency and uptake of zero-emission energy and generate funds that can be invested in sector research and development and, most important, to to support climate- vulnerable nations and ensure all can play a part in the energy transition.

About Ocean Conservancy

Ocean Conservancy is working to protect the ocean from today’s greatest global challenges. Together with our partners, we create evidence-based solutions for a healthy ocean and the wildlife and communities that depend on it. For more information, visit or follow us on Facebook, X (Formerly known as Twitter), and Instagram.

Media Contact

Madeline Black




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