Renewed Call to Include Shipping in Europe's Emissions Trading Scheme

Tuesday January 10, 2017

Transport & Environment (T&E) today said governments need to rethink shipping's inclusion in the European Union's (EU's) Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) as part of efforts to reduce the transport sector's overall emissions.

Citing a new report from Dutch consultancy CE Delft, T&E said the forecast emission reductions from land-based transport will be "wiped out" by the growth in emissions from aviation and shipping.

Specifically, the report indicates that growth in energy consumption from shipping and aviation will add 19 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe) between 2010 and 2030, while land transport is expected to reduce its energy consumption during the period by 43 Mtoe.

"This means that transport as a whole is only cutting its energy consumption by 24 Mtoe. That is well below what needs to be achieved under the EU effort-sharing scheme," says T&E.

Bill Hemmings, T&E’s aviation and shipping director, said: "Planes and ships are free-riding at the expense of land transport’s already insufficient efforts to cut emissions. This is not only unfair but a roadblock to Europe meeting its own climate commitments. Governments need to think again and include shipping in the ETS and strengthen its aviation provisions."

In December the European Parliament's Environment Committee decided that it would only include shipping emissions in the EU's ETS from 2023, and only if the IMO does not have a comparable system operating for global shipping from 2021.

Several industry bodies have voiced concern at the prospect of shipping being subject to such regional EU rules, arguing that a patchwork of localised regulations will actually impede global progress on emissions reductions.