78th session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC)
During the 78th session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), the proposal to establish a Sulphur Oxides Emission Control Area (SECA) in the Mediterranean was presented for the first time to the IMO.
This proposal follows the historic consensus reached on the subject in Antalya in December 2021, at the COP22 of the Barcelona Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean.
It aims to prevent, reduce and control sulphur oxide emissions from ships.
The aim is to reduce ambient levels of air pollution throughout the Mediterranean Sea and within the littoral states, which will have considerable benefits for human health and the environment.
To this end, the Committee approved the proposed amendments to Annex VI of the MARPOL Convention.
These amendments will allow - after adoption at the 79th session of the MEPC - the effective implementation of this area of reduction of emissions from ships in spring 2025.
In addition, the Committee’s meeting was marked by discussions on the reduction of greenhouse gases by maritime transport.
The Committee finalised the guidelines for short-term measures. These should therefore enter into force on 1 January 2023.
For the medium and long term measures, agreement was reached on the need for a package of both technical and market-based measures. The second phase of discussions has therefore been opened to specify these measures, and will continue during the sessions at the end of 2022.
In addition, the Committee initiated the process of reviewing the decarbonisation strategy established by the IMO in 2018.