The European Parliament has voted to include greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions generated by the shipping sector into the EU’s Emissions Trading System (EU ETS)
GHG emissions from ships over 5,000 gt will now be included in the EU ETS by 1 January 2022. In addition, parliament wants firms to cut ships’ annual average CO2 emissions by more than 40% by 2030.
The vote also confirms the position held by the EU parliament’s environment committee in July when adopting a draft legal report for a regulation on monitoring, reporting and verification of CO2 emissions from shipping.
MEPs largely agreed that reporting obligations by the EU and IMO should be aligned as proposed by the Commission. However MEPs noted that IMO has made insufficient progress towards meeting reductions in GHG emissions.
Methane emissions will also be included in the monitoring and reporting obligations. And an Ocean Fund will be established for the period 2022-2030 and funded by revenues from auctioning allowances under the ETS to improve the energy efficiency of ships and support decarbonisation investment.
Rapporteur of the European Parliament Jutta Paulus said the vote sends a strong signal in line with the European Green Deal and the climate emergency. “Monitoring and reporting CO2 emissions is important, but statistics alone do not save a single gram of greenhouse gas. That is why we are going further than the Commission proposal and demanding tougher measures to reduce emissions from maritime shipping".
The parliament will now begin negotiations with individual member states on the final shape of the legislation.
Maritime transport remains the only sector with no specific EU commitments to reduce GHG emissions. Global emissions from shipping are significant and estimated to account for ~2.5-3% of global GHG emissions which the EU said is more than the emissions of any single member state. In 2017 in the EU, 13% of total EU greenhouse gas emissions from transport came from the maritime sector.
The European Commission has proposed an amendment to the European Climate Law to increase emissions reduction targets by at least 55% by 2030, revised from the earlier figure of 40%. The new plan will seek to include intra-EU maritime transport in the EU ETS.
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