ECSA: No Room for Shipping in EU Emission Trading Scheme

Illustration; Image Courtesy: MOL

Following the proposal to revise the European Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) Directive, the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) argued today that shipping does not belong in the EU Emission Trading Scheme.

Namely, a majority of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) voted today to include shipping in the scheme as of 2023, if there is no comparable system operating in the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in 2021.

“Putting unrealistic pressure on IMO with regional measures that will gravely hurt a global sector and do very little for climate is not the way to proceed,” Patrick Verhoeven, ECSA Secretary General, said.

“It will unduly complicate the achievement of an effective and timely global agreement in IMO that everyone in the end wants. We thank those MEPs that voted against the inclusion of shipping and hope this spirit will prevail in the upcoming trilogue negotiations,” Verhoeven added.

With COREPER discussing the Council general approach on the EU ETS proposal today, negotiations with Member States and Commission could start relatively soon.

The German Shipowners’ Association (VDR) has also criticized European Parliament’s vote as Ralf Nagel, CEO of VDR, said that “the decision of the European Parliament is a detrimental signal towards the 172 IMO member states.”

“Climate protection, as well as shipping, need global solutions, not a patchwork of regional approaches,” Nagel added.

ECSA informed that it will continue “to strive for the full exclusion of shipping,” so that the IMO roadmap agreed in October last year would have a maximum chance of succeeding.

The IMO roadmap has defined tasks and timelines to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from ships. It complements the decision to have a mandatory global GHG data collection system in place as of 2019. The data collection system will make it possible to define the contribution of international shipping to the climate goals set by COP21 in Paris at the end of 2015.

The adoption of an initial strategy to meet the Paris’ objectives is already planned for 2018 and an agreement on targets and measures, including an implementation plan, will come about in 2023 once real time data have been analysed.

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