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FOCUS: European Parliament votes to bring shipping into emissions trading scheme

THE EUROPEAN parliament has voted in favour of bringing shipping into the region’s Emission Trading Scheme.

The vote was in favour of including shipping into the ETS from 2013, should the International Maritime Organization not have a comparable system in place by 2021.

Shipowner groups have condemned the decision, while green lobby groups have welcomed it.

Talking to fathom-news outside the Parliament’s Strasbourg offices just after the vote, Patrick Verhoeven, Secretary-General of the European Community Shipowners Associations said that this is not the way forward and that it puts unrealistic pressure on the IMO which has finally developed its own roadmap.

However Mr Verhoeven hopes that with discussion know needing to take place with the European Council and the Commission, the so-called tripartite talks, he is reasonably hopeful of the decision being reversed.

“This could go quickly,” he said, adding that according to ECSA there is no single member state that has openly supported the inclusion of shipping into the ETS.

The Parliament decision to push the IMO to have a comparable system by 2021 will put pressure in the IMO which has its own roadmap and a date for having a system by 2023, which is consistent with the dates in the Paris Agreement.

The lobby group Transport and Environment has however welcomed the outcome of the Parliamentary vote saying that proposal will see shipowners buy ETS allowances from 2023 onwards or pay an equivalent amount into a new Maritime Climate Fund.

Bill Hemmings, aviation and shipping policy director at T&E, said in a statement: “This cross party proposal will end the anomaly of shipping being the only sector in Europe not contributing to the 2030 emissions reduction target.

“EU governments must follow Parliament’s lead and agree that ship CO2 emissions must go in the EU ETS if the IMO does not act. The benefits to our climate through less warming and to our industry and economy through lower fuel costs cannot be ignored.”

Earlier this week cargo and shipper groups had come out in support of including shipping in the ETS revision as a way of putting more pressure on the IMO to act more quickly.

The position of ECSA can be read here

The position of T&E can be found here


About Author

Craig Eason Stockholm
Craig Eason is the owner and editorial director of Fathom.World. He has a background in the shipping industry having started his career as a cadet on oil tankers and gas carriers before becoming a navigating officer on a range of vessel types. A change in career, with ensuing university studies, and he has now gained 20 years experience in written and broadcast journalism. He now is in demand as a knowledgeable and competent editor and event host and moderator, both for in-house events and ones for the public.

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