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ECSA president calls for global emissions regulation

Shipping needs to come up with an IMO-led global solution to fight emissions, and must not go down the regionalisation route, a leading shipowner said yesterday.

“We believe that shipping, together with all other industry sectors, must be part of the solution to limit the increase in global temperature, as we clearly are a global contributor to carbon emissions”, said the president of the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA), Niels Smedegaard, addressing a symposium on decarbonisation of shipping held in Antwerp yesterday.

“The overall goal however must be a global agreement for maritime emissions, which the International Maritime Organisation is moving towards. The EU has shown leadership by adopting its regulation on monitoring, reporting and verifying CO2 emissions of shipping. Our focus should now be on ensuring the proper implementation of the MRV Regulation and make certain that the regulation is aligned with the IMO data collection system which will be formalised in October this year. This will ensure that European shipping will be covered by a single system, in an efficient manner without double work”, he continued.

Smedegaard, who is also president and CEO of European line DFDS, noted that the European Commission has not included shipping in its current review of the European Emissions Trading System.

“We believe this correctly reflects the reality that shipping is a global business and regional measures would have a directly distorting impact on European operators. A regional scheme would lead to carbon leakage as ships would start to avoid calling at EU ports. It would also gravely hurt the European short sea shipping sector, which would again be faced with an ‘EU only’ system”, he concluded.

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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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