Understanding IMO Member states participation and support towards environmental protection measures

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The goal of this project is to  understand the underlying drivers and influences that culminate in IMO stated policies and why these policies may be more or less effective in meeting environmental objectives.While there is an abundant literature on the likely impact of different measures (technical, operational, taxation  or cap-and-trade markets) to curb air emissions from international shipping (CO2, Sox, NOx, Particulates Matters), there is limited literature on understanding why Member States’ support ones strategy/mechanism instead of another. We can however suspect that Member states’ participation and views  on environmental protection reflect a countries’ involvement in international trade (trade specialization) and in shipping (industry specialization). For instance, a large flag state will probably adopt different views, and therefore supports different policy options,than a large shipbuilding country or a large import country with limited shipping interests. The member states’ support toward IMO policies might also be influenced by the national “environmental” lobbies, governmental agencies policies and/or the  global “country environmental awareness”. The project investigates to which extent these assumptions are confirmed when analyzing the Member States’ views expressed towards environmental protection during the Maritime Environmental Protection Committee (MEPC) and the IMO General Assembly through primarily qualitative methods. The benefits of this research are that while some projects will focus on the impact of various measures to curb shipping emissions, it is also important to investigate which measures are most likely to occur, not only based on their economic effectiveness but also on political drivers.