EU Shipping Leaves CO2 Unregulated

With nearly 90% of world trade transported by sea, global shipping accounts for almost 3% of the world’s CO2 emissions. So far, the industry has bypassed the EU’s system of pollution charges.

Under proposals from July 2021, shipping would go to the European Union Emissions Trading System (ETS) from 2023. However, it will spur emissions cuts from the sector over three years.

The environmental group Transport & Environment (T&E) study stated that the proposals. This year, it will be in Brussels, excluding ships under 5,000 GT (gross tonnage). It includes small offshore supply ships that service the oil and gas industries. There would be another exclusion of fishing and military vessels.

T&E said the loopholes would mean that some 25.8 million tonnes of CO2 would not fall beneath the ETS, representing approximately 20% of the 130 million tonnes emitted yearly by shipping in the bloc, would be excluded.

Jacob Armstrong, sustainable shipping officer at T&E, stated the proposals were based on high-handed loopholes. They would let too many heavily polluting vessels off the hook.

The EU Must Reconsider Its Shipping Laws

A European Commission official stated the 5,000 GT threshold sought to minimize administrative burden for companies, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises, without jeopardizing the objective to cover the vast bulk of greenhouse gas emissions from the sector.

Peter Liese, the European Parliament’s lead negotiator on the ETS reforms, informed Reuters that he was looking at the matter raised by T&E ahead of negotiations on the policy.

The Commission official spoke that its proposal would go with the emissions surrounded by an existing regulation on the monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) of emissions from maritime transport.

Ships exceeding 5,000 GT accounted for about 55% of the vessels calling into EU port. Moreover, it accounted for approximately 90% of the related emissions, the 2015 MRV regulation established.

Shipowners will have to purchase permits under the ETS when their ships pollute or face possible prohibitions from EU ports.

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