Why in news?
- The International Maritime Organization (IMO), the United Nations agency tasked with regulating shipping, mandated that merchant ships should not burn fuel with sulphur content greater than 0.5% beginning January 1.
- Prior to the mandate by IMO, there was 3.5% of Sulphur in the fuel
- It was said to damage the vessels and even causing marine pollution
Impact of this decision
The sulphur cap, for instance, will reduce emissions and reduce the health impact on coastal populations but ship operational costs are going up since the new fuel product is more expensive
IMO and India
- The IMO currently lists India as among the 10 states with the “largest interest in international seaborne trade”
- India’s participation in the IMO to advance its national interests has been desultory and woefully inadequate
- Indian permanent representative in IMO at London has remained vacant for the last 25 years