European Parliament extends Emissions Trading ETS to maritime shipping

Press Release: The European Parliament has just adopted by a large majority the outcome of the trialogue negotiations between the Commission, Parliament and EU member states for the new EU Emissions Trading Scheme ETS. In a historic step, European emissions trading will be extended to international maritime shipping.

To date, international maritime shipping has been the only transport sector not subject to binding emission reduction targets, despite being responsible for around three percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. The Greens/EFA have campaigned for many years for the extension of the ETS to maritime shipping. In the fall of 2020, the Green rapporteur for the regulation on greenhouse gas emissions from maritime shipping, Jutta Paulus, succeeded in getting the European Parliament to vote in favor of the extension for the first time by a large majority.

The inclusion of maritime shipping in the ETS includes:

  • With the revision of the ETS agreed today, shipping companies will have to buy more emission allowances in stages: for 40% of reported emissions in 2024, for 70% of emissions in 2025, and from 2026 for all emissions. For voyages to and from non-European ports, 50 percent of emissions will be included.
  • From 2025, in addition to very large ships of 5,000 gross tonnage or more, ships of 400 gross tonnage or more will have to report their emissions. Similarly, offshore service vessels used for maintenance work in wind farms or on oilrigs, for example, will be included in the database and, one year later, in emissions trading.
  • For shipping, the climate-damaging gases methane and nitrous oxide will also be included in European emissions trading.
  • Creation of an innovation fund financed by the revenue from emissions trading. The fund will be used to support projects to promote decarbonization and electrification of ships, research climate impacts and protect the biodiversity of maritime habitats.


Jutta Paulus, rapporteur of the Regulation on CO2 Emissions from Maritime Shipping, comments:

“Europe is closing a huge gap in climate policy and is finally making international maritime shipping accountable for its climate performance. Maritime shipping was the only transport sector exempted from emission reduction obligations, although it is responsible for around three percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) must now take global action and introduce the long-promised, binding climate measures as quickly as possible.


Patience and perseverance are paying off. After two and a half years of intense negotiations, I am pleased to see the inclusion of maritime shipping in the European Emissions Trading Scheme and the creation of an innovation fund for more sustainable shipping and the protection of marine habitats.”

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