EU ETS stance riles Danes

Oct 27 2017

European shipping is at risk of being subject to unilateral EU regulation, rather than supporting the global process.

This should stop now, said Danish Conservative Member of Parliament, Bendt Bendtsen.

He was reacting to the news that the European Parliament and the EU Member States have still not reached an agreement regarding the EU's Emissions Trading System (EU ETS).

Bendtsen called on the European Parliament to abandon its special requirements to the detriment of European shipping companies and to instead support the work of IMO.

As expected, it was not possible to reach political consensus on an agreement for the EU's ETS for the period 2021-2030, despite lengthy negotiations. The inclusion of shipping has been a contentious issue throughout the entire negotiation process, the Danes said.

The purpose of the emissions trading system is to reduce emissions in energy production and in industry, but shipping has thus far not been included.

In the European Parliament, Bendtsen has been the standard bearer for shipping to be regulated globally. The EU can only introduce regulations that are regionally confined to Europe, but it is out of reach with the reality, as ships literally sail all over the world, he argued.

"Of course, it is disappointing that an agreement on a new CO2 emissions trading system has not been reached, because it is really necessary that the quota price rises. At the same time, the lack of consensus in the EU puts the shipping sector in a difficult situation. Especially now where the IMO has launched a global strategy for the sector's emissions," he said.

The IMO’s MEPC has launched an ambitious process to set a strategy for reducing shipping’s emissions on a global level. The next meeting is taking place this week. The plan is that an initial strategy should be in place in the spring 2018 and a final adoption in an extended version in the spring 2023.

Danish Shipping said that it would also like the EU system to use its efforts more constructively than pointing the gun at itself and its own industry, if the IMO does not deliver.

"The fact is that the input from the Danish and European shipping companies to the IMO negotiations are more ambitious than those of a number of IMO member states. The industry is not the barrier here, which is why we once again call on the EU to accelerate its climate diplomacy and reach out to the foot dragging countries instead of threatening to harm its own industry. Think at the global results we could have achieved last year, if we had chosen that way," said Casper Andersen, director of EU Affairs of Danish Shipping’s Brussels office.

A new round of negotiations between the European Parliament and the Council is provisionally set for the second week of November.  

Previous: IMO puts the record strait

Next: Operating costs to increase in 2017 and 2018

Jan-March 2023

Does CII work - how banks are driving decarbonisation - reducing risks from engine failures