EU governments and Members of the European Parliament have agreed that Europe should act on ship greenhouse gas emissions from 2023 if the International Maritime Organisation fails to deliver effective global measures.

Calls for urgent action to reduce ship greenhouse gas emissions have been met with heavy push-back by many states and big industry groups meeting at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). A group of Pacific Island and mainly European states clashed repeatedly with those saying that decisions on immediate measures should await the final iteration of the IMO’s comprehensive GHG strategy in 2023, rather than be part of the “initial” strategy in 2018. Green groups Seas At Risk and Transport & Environment, which are members of the Clean Shipping Coalition (CSC) [1], said the most obvious immediate measure is to regulate ship speed, with the feasibility and effectiveness of slow steaming having been proven during the recession.

New figures shine a light on the massive scale of the single use plastic problem in Europe, a problem that is contributing significantly to the ocean plastic pollution crisis yet could easily be addressed with existing policy solutions.