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Influence and transparency at the IMO: the name of the game

Psaraftis, H and Kontovas, CA (2020) Influence and transparency at the IMO: the name of the game. Maritime Economics and Logistics. ISSN 1388-1973

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The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is a specialized United Nations agency responsible for regulating maritime transport. The purpose of this paper is to shed some light into the following issues: what are the main parameters of influence at the IMO? Who among Member States, industry or other players, are the main influencers? And is the process transparent enough? To address this issue, a perspective mainly but not exclusively based on the authors’ own experience from the activities of IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) and specifically its recent focus on how to decarbonize shipping is taken. To that effect, the paper examines several issues that may be relevant, including delegation size, delegation composition, number of submissions and other factors that may affect representation and influence in IMO decision making. The paper also addresses the issue that was recently put forward by several Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), that the shipping industry deliberately promotes strategies and tactics that slow down the drive for decarbonization and that transparency at the IMO leaves a lot to be desired. A conjecture of the paper is that better transparency and stricter representation rules at the IMO could surely lead to some improvements. In particular it is found that the current rules (or lack thereof) may unduly favor some stakeholders. However, even though the drive to decarbonize shipping goes at a slow pace, the paper finds no evidence of a coordinated attempt to slow down the process. A related conjecture concerns the fragmentation of influence at the IMO, which can perhaps explain why things are not moving very fast.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1402 Applied Economics, 1503 Business and Management, 1604 Human Geography
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
Divisions: Maritime & Mechanical Engineering (merged with Engineering 10 Aug 20)
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan (part of Springer Nature)
Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2020 11:53
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 07:44
DOI or ID number: 10.1057/s41278-020-00149-4
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/12445
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