Press Release

EU agrees to “watershed” carbon market for shipping, eyes now on aviation

November 30, 2022

EU negotiators agree to bring shipping into the ETS, showing that pricing international emissions is possible.

EU negotiators last night agreed to bring shipping into the EU’s carbon market (ETS) in a “watershed moment” for one of Europe’s heaviest emitters.The landmark deal will ensure shipping polluters pay and shows that the EU can regulate emissions beyond its borders, says T&E. The group calls on negotiators to do the same next week when they discuss an expansion of the ETS for aviation.

Jacob Armstrong, sustainable shipping officer at T&E, said: “The EU’s deal marks a watershed moment for shipping decarbonisation. No longer will shipping be let off the hook for its massive climate impact. No longer will international emissions be ignored by national policymakers. With this ambitious ETS covering all greenhouse gases[1], offshore vessels and ensuring funding for green shipping, the EU has thrown the gauntlet down to other jurisdictions like the US, China, and Japan to make this hugely important first step towards zero-emission shipping.”

The deal shows that Europe can price pollution beyond its borders, says T&E, which has set its sights on the aviation sector. Currently only flights within Europe are included in the ETS meaning 60% of emissions are exempted. Add to this a host of free allowances and airline polluters pay hardly anything. T&E has called on EU negotiators to apply an equally ambitious carbon market to the aviation industry when negotiators come together next week. “With shipping no longer off the hook, there are no excuses for the aviation sector,” concluded Jacob Armstrong.



[1]The inclusion of methane alongside CO2 and nitrous oxide in the ETS ensures that ships running on LNG are also required to pay for everything they emit. It is a clear signal that LNG is not a clean solution for shipping, says T&E.

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