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Environment & shipping

EU, crackdown on CO2 emissions

by Port News Editorial Staff

CO2 produced by shipping could soon be included in the European Carbon Dioxide market, the mechanism created in 2005 that sets a maximum limit to the production of CO2, defining the possibility of an exchange of quotas between the companies included in the list.

In fact, today’s vote in favour by the European Commission for the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety goes in this direction. With 62 votes in favour, 3 against and 13 abstentions, the Environmental Committee approved a package of reforms on the procedure on monitoring, reporting and verification of emissions (the EU MARV Regulation), establishing that shipping should become an integral part of the European Trading System (EU ETS).

What’s the difference? In simple terms, shipowners will also have to comply with the emission ceiling, which will be lowered from year to year. For the 2012-2020 period, the annual reduction in the emission limit has been set by the Member States at 1.74%, which is in line with the expected global dynamics.

Within this limit, companies obtain or purchase a number of quotas that they will have to surrender at the end of the year, in whole or in part, for the amount needed to cover their emissions. The surplus quotas can used as a reserve for the future, or they can be resold on the market.

The European Parliament will vote on the reform package in September. After that, negotiations will begin with the Member States to produce the final legislation in this area. If this proposal passes, ships of 5,000 gross tonnage and above would also be included in the ETS.

To date, shipping companies have been excluded from specific commitments to reduce harmful emissions. The committee’s vote therefore represents a turning point in the fight against environmental pollution.

Translation by Giles Foster

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