The EU’s Environment Council meets Tuesday to discuss Europe’s emissions trading system. The EU ETS is often described as the “flagship” of Europe’s climate policy and is currently the largest carbon market in the world. However it has been malfunctioning since a systematic oversupply of credits built up as a result of both Europe’s economic crisis and weak ambition in setting the cap when the ETS was first established.
· MEPs also back tightening cap on aviation emissions.Support from ports and cargo owners for last week’s vote by MEPs to include shipping emissions in the EU emissions trading system (ETS) has been sharply criticised by shipowners. The European Community Shipowners' Associations (ECSA) said it ‘deplores’ the shipping industry’s backing for Europe regulating ship CO2 as a ‘first move’ to kick start action at global level. Shipping in Europe has CO2 emissions equal those of the Netherlands.
Just before a crucial vote by MEPs, associations of shippers and cargo owners have called on the European Parliament, Council and Commission to include shipping emissions in the EU emissions trading system (ETS) under a special fund. In two letters sent yesterday, the shipping industry’s customers backed the Parliament environment committee’s proposal to regulate the sector via a Maritime Climate Fund from 2023 “if IMO (the UN’s International Maritime Organisation) does not deliver a global measure to address shipping GHG emissions”.
In a plenary vote on 14 February, the European Parliament will adopt its position on reforms to Europe’s emissions trading system (EU ETS) for the 4th trading period (2021-2030). These reforms aim to fix major issues with EU ETS such as the need for tighter reduction caps and the oversupply of allowances which has depressed the carbon price.
Today’s vote by MEPs to call for a ban on the use of heavy fuel oil (HFO), the dirtiest of all fuel types, by ships when operating in the Arctic has been welcomed by sustainable transport group Transport & Environment. In the event of an oil spill arising from a shipping accident, HFO is impossible to fully clean-up – with catastrophic effects on extremely vulnerable Arctic habitats. But the UN’s maritime body, the IMO, has so far failed to extend the prohibition to the northern polar region.
In this letter CAN Europe, Transport & Environment, Seas at Risk, Carbon Market Watch and the Aviation Environment Federation urge the European Commission to ensure the aviation and maritime sectors reduce emissions in line with the temperature goals of the Paris Agreement.
The Clean Shipping Coalition (CSC), a group of NGOs with observer status at the UN’s International Maritime Organisation (IMO), have heavily criticised comments by the head of the IMO warning the EU against taking action to address increasing GHG emissions from ships.