The European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) has criticized European port and freight forwarder associations which voiced their support of the European Parliament’s position to include shipping in the EU Emission Trading Scheme as of 2023.
In mid-February, a majority of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) voted to include shipping in the scheme as of 2023, if there is no comparable system operating in the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in 2021.
European port and freight forwarder associations confirmed that a global agreement is their preferred option to curb greenhouse gas emissions of ships. However, by supporting regional pressure to achieve this goal, ECSA believes they will obtain the exact opposite.
“IMO Member States agreed in October last year on a roadmap to curb GHG from shipping that is now being implemented in two steps, delivering a final global strategy by 2023,” Patrick Verhoeven, ECSA Secretary General, said.
Verhoeven added that the request of Parliament to already have a system comparable to the EU ETS operating globally two years earlier “ignores and jeopardises the international commitment that IMO countries, including all EU Member States, have signed up to.”
“Whilst we recognise and support the pro-active attitude of ports and logistic operators to reduce GHG emissions, we are disappointed that they do not see how the position of Parliament will exactly achieve the opposite of what they also claim to desire: an ambitious and effective global agreement for shipping,” Verhoeven said.
“Instead of supporting regional pressure, we invite our service providers and customers to have their voices heard in the IMO. That is where the actual work now takes place,” he added.