EU to monitor shipping emissions from next year

By Freddie Pierce
International shipping, which accounts for around three percent of the worlds CO² emissions, is expected to increase its emissions output to contr...

International shipping, which accounts for around three percent of the world’s CO² emissions, is expected to increase it’s emissions output to contribute around 18 percent of the world’s CO² emissions by 2050 if regulation is not in place, according to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

Despite years of effort by the IMO and the United Nations’ Climate Division, there is no international regulation of CO² emissions from the shipping industry. Last year, the IMO agreed to introduce energy efficiency measures for the design of new ships by 2015, however this measure alone will not ensure emissions are cut quickly enough, according to a statement by the EU Commission.  

"Discussions about further global measures are ongoing at IMO level, but we need intermediary steps to quickly deliver emissions reductions, such as energy efficiency measures also for existing ships," the Commission added.



The Commission has threatened to enforce its own shipping regulations is the IMO fails to find a global solution, in a similar move to their recent enforcement on aviation, which saw the aviation sector included in the EU’s Emissions Trading System (ETS) from January 1st, causing a major diplomatic row.

 The Commissions is said to be considering several options to reduce emissions, including a fuel/carbon tad, mandatory emissions reductions per ship or an inclusion in the ETS. The Commission hopes that setting a system for monitoring, reporting and verification of emissions based on fuel consumption is seen as a starting point towards a globally-agreed market-based solution.

It is “our intention to pursue such a monitoring, reporting and verification system in early 2013...This will help make progress at global level and feed into the IMO process,” the Commission said.

However, environmental groups were disappointed by the EU Commission’s plan, saying monitoring did not address the main issue of reducing emissions from ships.

“The call for improved energy efficiency for existing ships is a welcome move and efforts should proceed in parallel at the EU and IMO level but should not delay an early decision on an EU market-based measure,” said non-governmental organisations Transport and Environment and Seas at Risk told the press.



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