EU Parliament Gives Nod to CO2 Regulation

The European Parliament has approved in full today the law on public disclosure of data on ship efficiency, sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E) informed.

“The public disclosure of fuel efficiency data will enhance competition for the best ships and routes, which in turn will trigger market forces that will result in fuel savings. The measure is a stepping stone to CO2 targets that will start delivering much-needed cuts to shipping’s ever-growing emissions,” T&E said commenting on the decision.

The Monitoring Reporting and Verification (MRV) regulation will require ship operators to publicly report information on the environmental performance of ships.

Cargo owners and ship operators have been crying out for efficiency data, as the more cargo a ship can carry using the same amount of fuel, the more efficient, cleaner and cheaper the service.

However, according to T&E, fuel efficiency improvements will be offset by the increase in transport demand. In its latest greenhouse gas (GHG) study the UN’s shipping body, the IMO, projects a 50 to 250% rise in shipping emissions by 2050.

“This law is expected to produce a virtuous circle of increased transparency, increased competition and greater fuel efficiency. But this is where our cheering stops. Given that the sector’s rapid growth is set to outstrip efficiency gains, only CO2 targets under the EU’s 2030 plan and Energy Union can deliver actual emissions cuts,” commented Sotiris Raptis, clean shipping officer at T&E.

Ships are responsible for over 3% of global greenhouse gas emissions

EU governments will have an opportunity to support a global CO2 target for the sector when the IMO’s environment committee (MEPC) debates a submission from the Marshall Islands in two weeks time.

“The Marshall Islands, the existence of which is threatened by rising sea levels, has called for a global reduction target on maritime carbon emissions. When the holders of the world’s third largest shipping registry can see the existential threat posed by rising shipping emissions, it’s time for European nations to step up to the plate and support definitive action at the IMO,” Raptis concluded.

Currently ships are responsible for over 3% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. If these emissions were reported as a country, maritime transport would be Europe’s eighth largest emitter. According to the latest IMO study on GHG emissions from ships, under a business-as-usual scenario, shipping could represent 10% of global GHG emissions by 2050.

Chairman of the International Chamber of Shipping, Masamichi Morooka, warned of the implications of the EU’s decision to pre-empt the current IMO negotiations on a global data collection on shipping’s CO2 emissions by adopting a unilateral, regional RMV of individual ship emissions, which will also apply to non-EU flag ships trading to Europe, saying that the initiative might be seen by non-EU nations as an attempt to present them with a done deal.

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