ECSA, T&E: “Proposed EU shipping law could do more harm than good”

The European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) and the green group Transport & Environment (T&E) have joined forces to call on EU countries and the members of the European Parliament to introduce necessary amendments to the FuelEU Maritime Regulation proposal, with the aim to align it with EU Climate Law and Paris Agreement goals.

Illustration. Image by Navingo

The duo has warned that the Commission proposal falls short of ambition and fails to address the responsibilities of other stakeholders such as the fuel suppliers.

If adopted in its current form, the proposal might do more harm than good to shipping’s climate ambition, ECSA and T&E believe.

European shipowners and the clean transport campaign group said they support more ambitious targets for the uptake of cleaner fuels for shipping companies and fuel suppliers.

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The responsibilities of the fuel suppliers are essential to achieve these ambitious regulatory targets as called for above (shared responsibility). ECSA and T&E therefore call for the introduction of robust requirements on Member States under the FuelEU Maritime to ensure that fuel suppliers in European ports deliver compliant fuels to ships in sufficient quantities in order to meet the regulatory objectives.

The two organisations support the earmarking of revenues generated under the EU ETS and the FuelEU Maritime to facilitate the energy transition of the sector and contribute to bridging the price differential between conventional fuels and sustainable- and scalable alternatives, inter alia, through the carbon contracts for difference.

European shipowners and T&E also call for the introduction of a high multiplier for the use of sustainable and scalable marine fuels under the FuelEU Maritime Regulation in order to render them cost-competitive relative to other alternatives.

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“European shipowners are ready to contribute their fair share in addressing the climate crisis at EU level as well. But we need all hands on deck. The current FuelEU proposal does not address the responsibilities of the fuel suppliers and how cleaner and safe fuels will become available in Europe. We look forward to further cooperation with the Commission, the MEPs and the Member States to come up with workable solutions” Sotiris Raptis, ECSA’s Secretary-General, explained.

“The EU’s shipping fuels proposal has the potential to bring the renewables revolution to the shipping industry. But the current proposal by the Commission risks doing more damage than good. To seize this historic opportunity, the European Parliament and Member States should align FuelEU’s regulatory targets with the Paris Agreement, EU Climate Law and other international commitments and incorporate into the law incentives that promote sustainable and scalable fuels like green hydrogen,” Faig Abbasov, T&E’s shipping programme Director, said.

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