Shipping industry condemns EU’s stance on ETS

Feb 17 2017

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) expressed ‘disappointment but not surprise’ by this week’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.”

Bennett added; “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.

“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.” he stressed.   

ICS said it is working closely with the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) in order to persuade EU members and the European Commission to reject these proposals, in view of their support for a global solution at IMO.  

INTERTANKO also joined the condemnation. Technical director Dragos Rauta, said: “INTERTANKO and its members consider the EU Parliament’s ambition as totally counter-productive. This undermines the work undertaken by IMO and may upset the spirit of co-operation under which IMO develops global rules for a global industry.”

“It is disappointing that, despite the IMO Secretary General’s recent appeal to EU leadership, they still fail to recognise the crucial importance effective regulations at global level will have in this domain,” said Katharina Stanzel, INTERTANKO managing director. “We can only achieve global goals through widespread buy in to international solutions for shipping.”

It is important to bear in mind that this is not the final text of the revised ETS Directive, which, originally, did not include shipping; it represents the European Parliament’s position for negotiations with the EU Council (member states). These negotiations will start as soon as the Council have agreed on their own position, which is expected in the next few weeks.

INTERTANKO said that together with other shipping organisations, it continued to convey members’ views to EU member states in order to inform their position on the inclusion of international shipping in the EU ETS Directive.


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