ICS: EU’s CO2 Regulations Must Line Up with International Rules

The member national shipowners’ associations of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) have agreed to commence a co-ordinated campaign in an effort to persuade the European Union (EU) of the vital necessity of aligning its unilateral regulation on the monitoring of shipping’s CO2 emissions with the mandatory worldwide CO2 reporting regime agreed by the UN International Maritime Organization (IMO).

The campaign is aimed at EU institutions, including Member States, Parliament and the European Commission, however, in addition to working closely with the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA), ICS said it intends to enlist the support of non-EU governments including the United States, China and other Asian nations.

“Shipping is a global industry requiring global rules, in order to have a truly level playing field – otherwise we have chaos. ICS members greatly welcome the IMO CO2 reporting regime that was unanimously agreed by all IMO member states in April, as a precursor to further measures that will hopefully deliver a serious contribution from shipping towards reducing the world’s CO2 emissions,” ICS Chairman, Esben Poulsson, said.

The EU regulation on the Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) of ships’ CO2 emissions was adopted in 2015 and would be fully implemented in three years’ time. But all ships trading to Europe, including non-EU flag ships, will be legally required to comply with some of its provisions by as early as 2017, according to ICS.

However, the EU regulation contains a provision to the effect that the European Commission can propose adjustments to ensure alignment with any similar regime adopted by IMO.

“The key thing that really concerns the shipping industry is that if the EU refuses to realign its regime with IMO, as its own regulation permits it to do, this will be perceived by other governments as a sign of bad faith, which could then potentially inhibit the consideration of any additional CO2 reduction measures by IMO,” Poulsson added.

The international shipping sector has cut its total CO2 emissions by around 10 per cent since 2007, despite increased maritime trade, Poulsson said, adding that with oil prices having risen some 80% since January, this reinforces how it is truly in every shipowner’s interest to do everything possible to further reduce fuel consumption and thus cut CO2.

“It’s worth reiterating, yet again, the industry’s strongly held view that as a global industry we need a global framework. Only IMO is equipped to provide this,” he said.

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