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Plakiotakis urges faith in IMO

Greece has not given up the fight for a ‘realistic’ implementation of the new sulphur rules from January 1, 2020, the Greek shipping minister has said, believing the new rules should be delayed

Greece still wants a pragmatic implementation of the global sulphur cap, but shipping minister portrays the IMO as the sole body that should be co-ordinating the industry’s contribution to fighting climate change

GREECE’S shipping minister, Ioannis Plakiotakis, has called for international backing for the International Maritime Organization in the battle against climate change.

Mr Plakiotakis’ support for the IMO during a speech made in New York comes as the EU appears on the brink of taking its own regulatory steps for shipping emissions.

It also comes just days after he himself created a stir at the IMO podium by asking the London-based organisation to consider delaying implementation of its global sulphur cap.

“A global shipping industry requires global rules and international regulations to operate smoothly on a level playing field,” Mr Plakiotakis told the Capital Link ‘Invest in Greece Forum’ at New York’s Metropolitan Club.

The nature of the climate challenge also meant it could only be effectively tackled by co-ordinated global actiuon, he said.

“Therefore we must have faith in the work of the IMO which has so far been conducted satisfactorily for nearly a century, to develop consensus rules that will allow the development of sustainable shipping in the coming decades,” said Mr Plakiotakis.

Greece had not given up the fight for a “realistic” implementation of the new sulphur rules from January 1, 2020, the minister said.

This together with a “consistent and smooth” introduction of the 0.5% sulphur limit, ensuring worldwide availability of safe, compliant fuels, was “still on our agenda”, he said.

Another international maritime policy priority for the Greek Government was promoting “further liberalisation” of international maritime transport.

In a rapidly changing world, said Mr Plakiotakis, Greek shipping was “a reliable factor” in world trade, covering a “significant” portion of world transportation needs for energy and raw materials.

The Greek-owned fleet had managed to retain its leadership position despite the national economic recession and problems in the international shipping markets.

During the Greek debt crisis, shiping was the only economic sector in the country where jobs were unaffected, said the minister.

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