INTERCARGO: ‘Polluter pays’ principle is a welcome move for EU shipping

INTERCARGO has “cautiously welcomed” the recent proposal by EU Parliament’s Rapporteur, MEP Peter Liese, to update Amendment 9 of the EU emissions trading system (ETS) draft directive and support the ‘polluter pays’ principle.

Illustration. Image by Navingo
Illustration. Image by Navingo

This recognition that often the shipping company is not the commercial entity controlling the ship operation, and thus is not responsible for the resulting GHG emissions, is long overdue, according to the international association representing the world’s dry bulk shipping sector.

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“Although we retain our reservations on the EU emissions trading system (ETS) as a whole, we are pleased to see the EU take steps in the right direction, as regulators finally grasp some of the realities of our industry,” Dimitrios Fafalios, INTERCARGO Chairman, commented.

“Trading patterns within the dry bulk sector are diverse and dispersed. A significant share of the bulk carriers’ operation is administered by charterers, which not only take responsibility for purchasing the fuel but also take operational decisions that directly affect the CO2 emissions of the ship, such as speed of transit.”

“At the same time, whilst the proposal recognises the need to establish a contractual requirement between the shipowner and commercial operator to pass on the costs, it must be understood that this will be easier said than done.”

Despite this move, INTERCARGO said it is still committed to supporting the role of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) as the global forum and regulator for driving the elimination of all CO2 emissions from shipping worldwide.

The Association does, however, support any initiative designed to ease this transition for ship operators, and as such supports Liese’s proposal for the establishment of an Ocean Fund to finance R&D into maritime decarbonisation and to fund R&D projects aimed at bridging the price gap between cleaner and conventional fuels.

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