European Parliament Approves Inclusion of Shipping in European ETS

Wednesday February 15, 2017

Members of European Parliament (MEPs) have voted in favour of the inclusion of shipping emissions in the European Union's (EU's) Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) from 2023 if the International Maritime Organization (IMO) does not have a comparable system operating for global shipping from 2021.

The draft measures, which were approved by 379 votes to 263, with 57 abstentions, will now become the subject of MEP negotiations with the Maltese Presidency of the Council in order to reach agreement of the final version of the legislation before returning to parliament

As Ship & Bunker has reported, Transport & Environment (T&E) this week welcomed news of two letters sent by shipping industry organisations Monday, supporting the EP's Environment Committee's proposal to regulate the shipping sector via a maritime climate fund.

The proposal for a maritime climate fund is said to be intended to compensate for maritime emissions, improve energy efficiency, facilitate investment in innovative technologies, and reduce CO2 emissions from the sector.

Alongside news of the draft measures' approval, both the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and the European Community Shipowners' Associations (ECSA) issued statements against the decision.

"Putting unrealistic pressure on IMO with regional measures that will gravely hurt a global sector and do very little for climate is not the way to proceed," ECSA Secretary General Patrick Verhoeven.

"It will unduly complicate the achievement of an effective and timely global agreement in IMO that everyone in the end wants. We thank those MEPs that voted against the inclusion of shipping and hope this spirit will prevail in the upcoming trilogue negotiations."

Last month, Kitack Lim, IMO's Secretary-General, issued a letter to EU officials, urging them to address shipping emissions as a united front with IMO, noting that its proposed regional action "significantly risks undermining efforts on a global level."