The European Union is to include shipping in its emissions trading system (ETS) following a final round of talks between the European Commission, the European Parliament and national member states.
A statement from the EU council said that a gradual introduction of obligations for shipping companies to surrender allowances has been agreed: 40% for verified emissions from 2024, 70% for 2025 and 100% for 2026.
Most large vessels will be included in the scope of the EU ETS from the start.
Big offshore vessels of over 5,000 gross tonnage (gt) and above will be included in the 'MRV regulation' on the monitoring, reporting and verification of CO2 emissions from maritime transport regulation from 2025 and in the EU ETS from 2027.
General cargo vessels and off-shore vessels between 400-5,000 gt will be included in the MRV regulation from 2025 and their inclusion in EU ETS will be reviewed in 2026, according to the statement.
Certain member states with a relatively high number of shipping companies will receive 3.5% of the ceiling of the auctioned allowances to be distributed among them.
The agreement takes into account geographical specificities and proposes transitional measures for small islands, ice class ships and journeys relating to outermost regions and public service obligations and strengthens measures to combat the risk of evasion in the maritime sector.
Non-CO2 emissions (methane and N2O) are to be included in the MRV regulation from 2024 and in the EU ETS from 2026, the statement said.
The EU ETS is a carbon market based on a system of cap-and-trade of emission allowances for energy-intensive industries and the power generation sector.