European Parliament votes to include shipping in Emissions Trading System

Written by Nick Blenkey
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European Parliament in plenary session [IMAGE © European Union 2019 - Source : EP]

The European Parliament has voted to include CO2 emissions from the shipping sector in the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS). The Parliament also wants to see an Ocean Fund set up to help ships become more energy efficient,

At a plenary session in Brussels, the Parliament voted 520 to 94 (with 77 abstentions) in favor of the European Commission’s proposal to revise the EU system for monitoring, reporting and verifying CO2 emissions from maritime transport (the “EU MRV Regulation”).

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) largely agree that reporting obligations by the EU and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) should be aligned, as proposed by the Commission, says a press release issued by the Pariament.

“They note, however, that the IMO has made insufficient progress in reaching an ambitious global agreement on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions,” says the release. “They ask the Commission to examine the overall environmental integrity of the measures decided by the IMO, including the targets under the Paris Agreement. A global ambitious agreement on GHG emissions from shipping is urgently needed, they add.”


The Parliament wants maritime transport to be more ambitious and believes ships of 5,000 gross tonnage and above should be included in the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS).

However, MEPs say that market-based emissions reduction policies are not enough and request that shipping companies reduce their annual average CO2 emissions per transport unit for all their ships by at least 40% by 2030.


MEPs call for an “Ocean Fund” for the period from 2022 to 2030, financed by revenues from auctioning allowances under the ETS, to make ships more energy-efficient and to support investment in innovative technologies and infrastructure, such as alternative fuel and green ports. 20 % of the revenues under the und should be used to contribute to protecting, restoring and efficiently managing marine ecosystems impacted by global warming.

Rapporteur Jutta Paulus (Greens/EFA) said: “Today, we are sending a strong signal in line with the European Green Deal and the climate emergency: Monitoring and reporting CO2 emissions is important, but statistics alone do not save a single gram of greenhouse gas! That’s why we are going further than the Commission proposal and demanding tougher measures to reduce emissions from maritime shipping”.

Parliament is now ready to start negotiations with member states on the final shape of the legislation.

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