The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) – which represents over 80% of the world merchant fleet – says it is ‘disappointed but not surprised’ by today’s vote in the European Parliament to propose that international shipping (including non-EU flag ships) should be incorporated into the EU Emissions Trading System from 2023.
“This vote for a unilateral, regional measure simply risks polarising debate among IMO Member States which have already agreed to develop a strategy for reducing shipping’s CO2 emissions in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change”. said ICS Director of Policy & External Relations, Simon Bennett.
“The vote completely ignores the real progress that has already been made by IMO – which under the Kyoto Protocol, to which EU Member States are signatory, has a mandate to address CO2 emissions from international shipping.”
IMO adopted technical regulations as long ago as 2011 which will ensure that all ships built in 8 years’ time will be at least 30% more CO2 efficient than most of the fleet operating today, and the global shipping sector has already dramatically reduced its total CO2 emissions despite an increase in global trade. (A 10% reduction over a 5 year period was recorded by the 2014 IMO Green House Study, which is the latest available data).
Mr Bennett said that “EU Member States, which are also members of IMO, now have a duty to reject these unhelpful proposals, as they are taken forward as part of the wholesale attempt to reform the EU Emissions Trading System. Trying to include thousands of small shipping companies – including thousands of companies not based in the EU – into a system designed for major EU power generating companies and steel and cement producers is only going to complicate this reform.”
“Reducing CO2 from shipping is a global problem which can only be addressed successfully at global level by IMO.” he added.
“As we saw when the EU unsuccessfully tried to impose the ETS on international aviation, non-EU Governments are not going to take kindly to being told that ships flying their flag, when visiting EU ports, may have to pay money into EU schemes designed to help subsidise the closure of European coal mines.” Mr Bennett observed.
ICS says it is working closely with the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) in order to persuade EU Member States and the European Commission to reject these proposals, in view of their support for a global solution at IMO.