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MEPs want shipping included in 2030 emissions target through ETS ‘climate fund’

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A proposal to include emissions from shipping in the EU’s 2030 emissions reduction target through the EU emissions trading system (ETS) has gained cross-party support among MEPs. The amendment calls for shipowners to buy ETS allowances from 2021 onwards or pay an equivalent amount into a new climate fund that minimises administrative burden by buying allowances collectively on their behalf. 

The parliamentary groups of the Socialists and Democrats (S&D), Greens and the liberals (ALDE) tabled the proposal. The centre-right group, the European People’s Party (EPP), also supports the inclusion of shipping in the ETS as a way to make the sector contribute to the EU’s 2030 climate target.

The fund will also function as a flow-back mechanism by reinvesting 20% of the allowances’ revenues to make the shipping industry and ports more efficient. This new source of financing is expected to support carbon-saving retrofitting, innovative technologies and port charging schemes. T&E estimates that this would roughly amount to €1 billion at the outset.

The proposal is based on the existing EU monitoring system (MRV) of shipping emissions to keep to a minimum the extra administrative cost for shipowners, ports and authorities. The owners of ships arriving at or departing from EU ports would have to either buy directly EU ETS allowances to cover their CO2 emissions or pay an equivalent amount into the fund that will collectively purchase and retire the required number of allowances on their behalf.

S&D MEP Jytte Guteland said: ‘If Europe is to honour its commitments through the Paris agreement, all sectors will have to contribute to the transition to a low-carbon society. Time is of the essence and the shipping industry has an important role to play in this transition. In setting up a climate fund for shipping allowances, the EU will help industry cut global-warming emissions in a sustainable way by investing 20% of the revenues in green projects for ships and ports.’ [...]


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