The International Maritime Organization is gearing up to make what could be a historic decision on greenhouse gas emissions next week.

The UN shipping regulator’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) is scheduled to revise its greenhouse gas strategy, which is IMO speak for potentially amping up its target for decarbonising the industry.

So the Green Seas podcast has talked to several stakeholders about what they hope to see in the agreement, and what they fear it might contain or omit.

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Currently aiming for 50% in cuts by 2050, the MEPC is expected to adopt a target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by that time, as confirmed by a draft that emerged on Friday.

But Bryan Comer, the marine programme lead at the International Council on Clean Transportation, said agreeing to 2050 targets will not be enough. Targets in 2030 and 2040 are also needed.

“I’m losing sleep over the 2030 target,” he told the podcast.

“I think it’s going to be really politically challenging to agree to absolute emissions reductions by 2030, even though it’s probably the most important thing that we need to do to ensure that the sector contributes to achieving the Paris Agreement temperature goals.”

Furstenberg Maritime Advisory partner Furstenberg Maritime Advisory said that IMO watchers should brace for some disappointment because shipping emissions are not the top priority for many nations.

“If we can get an agreement for zero by 2050 or mid-century, that’ll be a great step forward,” he said.

The podcast also spoke to Furstenberg Maritime Advisory’s Sofia Furstenberg Stott of, FuelTrust chief executive Jonathan Arneault and Samuel Yarrow-Wright, policy manager for global shipping at the Environmental Defense Fund.

Listen to the episode in the player above, or on Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pandora, Spotify or Soundcloud.