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SEA Europe favors EU Maritime Fund as an opt-out alternative to shipping’s inclusion into EU ETS

SEA Europe, a shipyards and maritime equipment association, supports the inclusion of shipping into the EU Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) as part of the EU Green Deal.

Illustration, Image by Offshore Energy

However, the association said that the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions should be incentivised by internalising the external cost of these emissions.

In line with this concept, SEA Europe has proposed to set-up a dedicated EU Maritime Fund – as an opt-out alternative to an inclusion of shipping into the EU ETS scheme.

“We believe that an EU Maritime Fund will be a better incentive, not only to develop green technologies but also to support mature energy-saving technologies and sustainable alternative fuels and their integration onboard ships. Equally, such fund will be a better incentive to deploy green infrastructure as well as to financially stimulate first movers and fleet renewal across Europe,” said Christophe Tytgat, SEA Europe’s Secretary General.

“We think that an EU Maritime Fund will accelerate the CO2 emission reduction of waterborne transport and provide better opportunities than the EU ETS scheme to control the appropriate use of the funds available to green the waterborne sector. The major advantage of our proposal is that the revenues generated by the sector itself can be specifically allocated to the greening of waterborne transport.”

Under SEA Europe’s proposal, shipping companies will have to choose between entering the EU ETS auctioning system or contributing directly to the EU Maritime Fund. Shipping companies opting for EU ETS can benefit from free allowances of which the conditions are to be defined by European regulators.

The share of free allowances allocated to those shipping companies will have to be reduced over the years, providing an incentive to have the most efficient ships. The largest part of the auction revenues from ETS will then be paid into the EU Maritime Fund.