EP Committee Adopts CO2 Monitoring Regulation

European Parliament's Committee Adopts CO2 Monitoring Law

The European Parliament’s Environment Committee adopted the regulation for the monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and other relevant information from ships calling EU ports.

The regulation creates a unilateral European MRV system applying to ships above 5,000 GT arriving and/or departing from EU ports. The system is claimed to be neutral regarding flag and ownership.

Currently ships are responsible for over 3% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The Commission estimates that CO2 emissions from ships sailing in European waters amounted to 180 million tonnes in 2010. If these emissions were reported as a country, maritime transport would be Europe’s eighth largest emitter.

However, several shipping groups have voiced their dissatisfaction with this regulation, stating that it would be ill-advised for the EU to pass it into law without the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) dealing with the issue on a global level first.

Sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E) said that the proposed law is weak because it only monitors fuel consumption instead of directly reducing it, and only covers CO2 and not air pollutants like SO2 or NOx , but also said that it can still trigger fuel savings indirectly.

BIMCO expressed concerns that the new regulation will create additional red tape for shipping without any positive impact on the environment and may well negatively affect the prospect of an international agreement on the issue in IMO.

Apart from reporting data on CO2 emissions and distance sailed, the regulation will require ships to report cargo-related information, which BIMCO believes will create problems related to data reliability, confidentiality, reporting responsibilities and obligations.

Following the adoption by the Committee, the European Council is expected to reach a political agreement at the Environment Council meeting on December 17, followed, by the formal adoption of its common position, which should be transmitted to the European Parliament. It would be then for the Parliament to vote on the agreed text at one of its plenary meetings. The procedure could be completed in spring 2015.

This regulation should enter into force on July 1, 2015, and the first reporting period is planned to start on January 1, 2018.

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