The European Commission has today adopted a Communication setting out a strategy for progressively including greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from maritime transport in the EU’s policy for reducing its overall GHG emissions.
As a first step, the Commission proposed a Regulation which would establish an EU-wide system for the monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from large ships as from 2018. Nevertheless, the draft Regulation requires approval by the European Parliament and Council in order to become law.
The strategy was presented today during a common press release by Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner for Climate Action and Siim Kallas, Commission Vice-President responsible for mobility and transport. “Today we are charting a clear course towards reducing maritime greenhouse gas emissions. The EU monitoring system will bring environmental and economic gains for the shipping sector by increasing transparency about emissions and creating an incentive for ship-owners to cut them”, said Commissioner Hedegaard. “On the basis of today’s policy outline, the EU will continue its efforts, jointly with its global partners, to achieve a comprehensive international solution. Today’s proposal is a significant contribution to IMO efforts to cut fuel use and increase the fuel efficiency of ships with a range of instruments including technical and market-based measures”, added Commissioner Kallas.
The proposal will create an EU-wide legal framework for collecting and publishing verified annual data on CO2 emissions from all large ships (over 5 000 gross tons) that use EU ports, irrespective of where the ships are registered. Ship owners will have to monitor and report the verified amount of CO2 emitted by their large ships on voyages to, from and between EU ports. Owners will also be required to provide certain other information, such as data to determine the ships’ energy efficiency. A document of compliance issued by an independent verifier will have to be carried on board ships and will be subject to inspection by Member State authorities. It is proposed that the rules apply from 1 January 2018.
The strategy, which is set out in the Communication consists of three consecutive steps: (1)the system of MRV of emissions, (2) the setting of GHG reduction targets for the maritime transport sector, and (3) the application of further measures, including market-based measures (MBMs), in the medium to long term. Furthermore, priority is given to the establishment of an MRV system because it is necessary for the other two steps. It is a prerequisite for setting both emission reduction targets and for any market-based measure or efficiency standard, whether applied at EU level or globally.