EU to include ships in the ETS

The Environment Committee of the European Parliament has voted to include CO2 emissions from the maritime sector in the European Union (EU) Emissions Trading System (ETS).

European Flags At The European Commission Building In Brussels

The Commission has put forward a proposal to revise the EU system for monitoring, reporting and verifying CO2 emissions from maritime transport (the “EU MRV Regulation”) and bring it in line with new obligations under International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to monitor emissions from 2019 and report in 2020.


In the legislative report approved on 7 July, the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee welcomed the proposal but wanted to see more ambition and voted to include ships of 5000 gross tonnage and above in the EU ETS.


In addition, MEPs say that market-based emissions reduction policies are not enough, so they also introduced binding requirements for shipping companies to reduce their annual average CO2 emissions per transport work, for all their ships, by at least 40% by 2030.


Establish an Ocean Fund


The committee calls for an “Ocean Fund” for the period from 2023 to 2030, financed by revenues from auctioning allowances under the ETS, to make ships more energy efficient and to support investment in innovative technologies and infrastructure, such as alternative fuel and green ports, to decarbonise the maritime transport sector. 20% of the revenues under the Fund shall be used to contribute to protecting, restoring and efficiently managing marine ecosystems impacted by global warming.


International efforts needed


MEPs agree that it is important to align the EU and International Maritime Organisation (IMO) reporting obligations, as proposed by the Commission. However, they believe there is insufficient progress in the IMO and ask the Commission to examine the overall environmental integrity of the measures decided upon by the IMO, including the targets under the Paris Agreement. A global ambitious agreement on GHG emissions from shipping is urgently needed, they add.


Next steps


When adopted by the Plenary, which should happen during 14 – 17 September session in Strasbourg, Parliament will be ready to start negotiations with member states on the final shape of the legislation.


Background


Maritime transport remains the only sector with no specific EU commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Global shipping activity emits significant amounts of GHG emissions, estimated to be around 2-3% of total global GHG emissions. This is more than the emissions of any EU member state. In 2015 in the EU, 13 % of the overall EU greenhouse gas emissions came from the transport sector.

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