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ECSA hits out at EU shipping emissions plans

ECSA hits out at EU shipping emissions plans

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The Environment Committee (ENVI) of the European Parliament adopted yesterday its report on the revision of the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS). MEPs agreed on a compromise text for shipping, which puts pressure on the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to have a system comparable to ETS operating for global shipping as from 2021. If that is not the case, then shipping will be included in the European ETS as from 2023. Part of the revenues generated from ETS will be channeled through a Maritime Climate Fund to improve energy efficiency and invest in innovative technologies for ports and short sea shipping.

“The report ignores and undermines the roadmap that was agreed at IMO end of October”, said European Community Shipowners’ Association secretary general Patrick Verhoeven, “We find this very disappointing, but it does not change our resolve to make the IMO roadmap a success. We agree that the shipping sector must further reduce its CO2 emissions with a comparable level of ambition as the rest of the world economy to contribute its fair and proportionate share in meeting the Paris’ climate target. But this can only happen effectively in a global context. Threatening with regional measures under unrealistic deadlines is a very counterproductive move.”

The IMO roadmap has a two-staged approach, with an initial strategy to be decided in 2018, and a final plan to be adopted in 2023, taking into account real emission data that will start to be collected as of 2019.

“The IMO plan is entirely consistent with the Paris Climate Agreement of 2015. It is a logical follow-up to technical and operational measures taken earlier such as the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) and Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP) adopted in 2011 to ensure that ships will be more CO2 efficient in the future,” ECSA said in a release yesterday.

The ENVI report needs to be confirmed in a plenary vote in the beginning of next year.

Negotiations will then start with Member States and the Commission. “We hope the unhelpful position of the ENVI Committee can be overturned in this process”, said Patrick Verhoeven, “The EU should engage in the global dialogue, not undermine it.”

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Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.

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