Efforts to remove one of the main causes of air pollution and acid rain from shipping have been boosted by a vote in the European Parliament. MEPs on the environment committee have approved draft rules to reduce the sulphur content of marine fuels. The changes now have to be confirmed by environment ministers and by the full Parliament.
Environmental groups have welcomed the outcome of a key vote today in the European Parliament on the sulphur content of ship fuels.
On 16 February 2012 the environment committee of the European Parliament will vote on a proposal to limit the sulphur content in fuels used by ships in EU seas. This briefing gives an overview of the key issues at stake.
Briefing on the EU proposal to reduce sulphur levels in ship fuels.
Shipping has become the first industry to agree a global carbon dioxide reduction strategy. This month’s vote at the International Maritime Organisation approved the establishment of an Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) for new ships. T&E welcomed the decision, but says it cannot be seen as a solution on its own, especially because the EEDI will take many years to be truly effective.
The EU says it will allow governments to give state aid to shipping companies to help them meet stricter sulphur standards.
A group of environmental NGOs is urging the EU to make all possible effort to put bunker fuels back on the agenda of the next meeting of the United Nation
Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which will take place in Bangkok next April.
Opinion by Jos Dings - T&E Director
Did we miss something? Last year, the European Commission didn’t propose a single new legislative measure to clean up transport. To be fair, it has been spending most of its time worrying about the future of the Eurozone. As a result, for T&E this was the sort of year where seeds for smarter transport policy were sown. We’re optimistic that next year could bring a decent crop of positive changes.
The Commission has launched a consultation on updating the existing directive that limits the sulphur content of fuels used in ships.
T&E and other NGOs have called for the EU to bring shipping into the Emissions Trading Scheme after several emerging nations blocked the first global measure to cut carbon emissions from newly-built ships.