Call for EU levy on NOX emissions from ships

Written by Nick Blenkey
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JUNE 16, 2016 — A European environmentalist group looks to be calling for a tax on nitrogen oxides (NOX) emissions from ships.

A study commissioned by Transport & Environment (T&E) identifies policy options available at the EU level to regulate ship NOX emissions in EU seas and compares them with the measures to be taken under International Maritime Organization (IMO) regulations.

Established in 1990, T&E represents around 50 organizations across Europe, mostly environmental groups and campaigners working for sustainable transport policies at national, regional and local level. It says that the study, carried out environmental consultancy IVL and CE Delft, shows that a levy on NOX emissions with revenues earmarked to fund the uptake of NOX abatement measures is the most promising tool to reduce NOx emissions from ships by up to 70%.

In addition to a NOX levy with a fund, the study identified two other EU-level policy tools: mandatory slow steaming of ships (with a levy and fund as an alternative compliance option) and a stand-alone levy on emitted NOX.

The study follows what T&E calls the “ongoing failure by the European Council to agree ambitious revisions to the National Ceilings Directive (NEC) governing land-based emissions, including NOX, thus putting greater pressure on member states to address ship NOXwhere abatement costs are far lower.

“Ship NOX emissions affect all EU member states, whether along the Baltic, around the North Sea or the Mediterranean. This study provides a solution for all EU seas,” said Faig Abbasov, clean shipping officer at T&E.

The study compares ship NOx abatement options and their associated costs for the shipping sector with EU-level measures implemented either on their own or in addition to the designation of Nitrogen Emissions Control Areas (NECAs) under the IMO.

Read the study HERE

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