Delegates of the UN's International Maritime Organisation (IMO) have been called on introduce interim guidelines on an energy efficiency design index for new ships that would focus on cutting carbon dioxide emissions, the Shipping Gazette reported.
This initiative, said IMO secretary general Efthimios Mitropoulos, would stimulate innovation and development of energy efficiency in ships from the design stage.
His call follows the IMO's marine environment protection committee's (MEPC) meeting where it agreed to introduce a set of voluntary technical and operational measures to curb such emissions from ships.
Delegates also agreed to consider a proposal at future sessions to introduce market-based reduction mechanisms to provide incentives for the shipping industry to comply with coming emission standards.
The latest IMO study on emissions from ships estimates that vessels engaged in international trade in 2007 contributed about 2.7 per cent of the world's CO2.
Mr Mitropoulos also called on delegates to promote the United Nation's climate change conference in Copenhagen in December when they return to their home countries.