The European Commission confirmed on Monday it will propose adding emissions from ships to the European Union emissions trading scheme, according to Reuters.
The EU appears to have delivered an ultimatum to the international shipping community that Europe will take unilateral action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from ships if there is no global action by the end of the year.
Editorial by João Vieira
Shipping is sometimes the forgotten means of transport. There seems to be a general assumption that it is generally environment-friendly, although that may be mainly because the contribution of ships to climate change, air and marine pollution has been outside public debate for many years. But there are signs that this may be changing, which could be good news for shipping, as people are starting to wake up to the environmental damage caused by maritime transport.
Two studies suggest CO2 emissions from shipping are double those of aviation and increasing rapidly.
A coalition of environmental groups, including T&E, has called for a stricter set of emissions for shipping fuels, in an attempt to end the health and environmental damage caused by bunker fuels.
Oslo, Norway. Environmental groups allied with Friends of the Earth International are pressing for ships to abandon dirty bunker fuels and cut engine emissions by 70 to 90 percent using current pollution controls during international negotiations November 13 to 17 being led by the United States.
The EU environment commissioner Stavros Dimas has promised an EU strategy on the environmentally and socially responsible scrapping of ships.
This document calls on the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to recommend stringent limits on the emissions of NOx, SOx and PM from ships, and to include consideration of shore-side power, and presents recent information on ship emissions, their impacts and controls in support thereof.
Proceedings of the T&E conference held in Stockholm, Sweden, 21 - 22 April 2005.
Intentional pollution from ships, as well as reckless or negligent acts leading to marine pollution, will become a criminal offence in 2007 following agreement on an EU deal that sets new standards.