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EU seeks to impose ETS on shipping by January 2022

In a move that will be seen as piling pressure on shipping regulators and the shipping industry the Environment Committee of the European Parliament voted yesterday (7 July) to add shipping emissions to its carbon Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).

Up to now, shipping has been excluded from carbon reduction measures from the European Union (EU), but the latest move means that a vote will be taken in the European Parliament in September, and if passed each member state will need to approve the new legislation, which will then enter force on 1 January 2022.

The vote in the Environment committee has come as Transport & Environment (T&E), a European green pressure group elevated Swiss operator MSC to seventh in its top ten list of carbon emitters. Eight of the other nine in the top ten were coal-fired power stations and the eighth was low-cost airline Ryanair.

The carrier responded that the T&E report had erroneously calculated its emissions because it should only use emissions within the EU and that the company operates its own feeder line which is also calculated in MSC figures.

An MSC statement said, “A complete analysis would show that only 40-45% of the emissions reported by MSC in the MRV were actually in the EU. In addition, a correct analysis would also show that MSC has achieved 2.5% YOY (year-over-year) reduction in absolute emissions under the EU MRV scheme in a single year.”

However, Faig Abbasov, T&E manager for shipping, who was responsible for the calculations told Container News, that the figures were taken from Europe’s Monitoring Reporting and Verification (MRV) system which calculates emissions for vessels inbound to Europe, outbound and within European waters.

These calculations by the MRV were “Not defined by us,” explained Abbasov, they are defined by the EU which, “Benefits from shipping which allows the EU to trade with other countries, so the EU bears a responsibility for shipping that comes into and leaves the EU, that’s the philosophy behind it.”

According to Abbasov, T&E is calling for the EU to mandate three changes to emissions from shipping, including the application of the ETS to shipping. T&E argues that goal-based standards Energy Efficiency Operational Indicator or Annual Efficiency Ratio data to calculate vessel efficiency and a zero-emission at berth requirement by 2030.

Nick Savvides
Managing Editor

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