Shipping Should Not Be Included in EU Emissions Trading System?

As the European Parliament and the EU Member States have not yet reached an agreement regarding the EU’s Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), European shipping is therefore at risk of being subject to unilateral EU regulation rather than supporting the global process, Danish Shipping said. 

It was not possible to reach political consensus on an agreement for the EU’s Emissions Trading System (ETS) for the period 2021-2030 despite lengthy negotiations. The issue of inclusion of shipping has been a contentious issue throughout the entire negotiation process.

The purpose of the emissions trading system is to reduce emissions in energy production and in industry, but shipping has so far not been part of that scheme, Danish Shipping explained.

Bendt Bendtsen, Member of Parliament, The Danish Conservative Party, calls on the European Parliament to abandon its special requirements to the detriment of European shipping companies and support the work of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) instead. The EU can only introduce regulations that are regionally confined to Europe, but it is out of reach with the reality as ships literally sail all over the world, according to Bendtsen.

“Of course, it is disappointing that an agreement on a new CO2 emissions trading system has not been reached, because it is really necessary that the quota price rises. At the same time, the lack of consensus in the EU puts the shipping sector in a difficult situation. Especially now where the IMO has launched a global strategy for the sector’s emissions,” Bendt Bendtsen said.

The IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) has launched an ambitious process to set a strategy for reducing shipping’s emissions on a global level. The next meeting round takes place this week. The plan is that an initial strategy should be in place in spring 2018 and a final adoption in an extended version in spring 2023.

Danish Shipping said the EU system should use its efforts more constructively than pointing the gun at itself and its own industry if the IMO does not deliver.

“The fact is that the input from the Danish and European shipping companies to the IMO negotiations are more ambitious than those of a number of IMO member states. The industry is not the barrier here, which is why we once again call on the EU to accelerate its climate diplomacy and reach out to the foot-dragging countries instead of threatening to harm its own industry. Think of the global results we could have achieved last year if we had chosen that way,” Casper Andersen, Director of EU Affairs of Danish Shipping’s office in Brussels, commented.

A new round of negotiations between the European Parliament and the Council is provisionally set for the second week of November.