Like aviation and land transport, also shipping must drastically reduce CO2 emissions. If it were up to the European Parliament, the maritime transport sector would have to produce at least forty percent fewer emissions annually by 2030. There will also be a special ‘Ocean Fund’ to make ships more energy efficient and to invest in new technologies.
The European Parliament met on Wednesday in Brussels to discuss the situation in the shipping industry. Despite the European Commission’s wishes, this sector is still far from green enough. Which means it is lagging behind other transport sectors. In this way, the Commission wants to tighten up climate guidelines for the maritime transport sector. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is required to report on progress in greening the sector. But according to parliamentarians it is still not sufficiently meeting its agreements.
The IMO is currently working on a global and ambitious agreement on greenhouse gas emissions. But according to some MEPs this is not going fast enough. They therefore ask the Commission to examine the integrity of IMO measures. Such as achieving the goals of the Paris Accord. An international treaty on greenhouse gas emissions from shipping is urgently needed, according to members of the European Parliament. From now on, major maritime shipping will also pay for European emission rights. The major maritime shipping industry is the only one that has not yet done so. For all ships, CO2 emissions must in any case be reduced by forty percent per year. This goal must be achieved by 2030.
In addition, members of the European Parliament want a special ‘Ocean Fund’. This should be financed from the proceeds of emission auctions. The intention is that from 2023 to 2030 money can be drawn from this pot to make shipping more energy efficient and to invest in new technology. In addition, the fund must set aside money for alternative fuels and green seaports. At least twenty percent of the fund’s income must be used to protect, restore and manage marine ecosystems affected by global warming. Such as coral.
Dutch MEP Bas Eickhout (GroenLinks) is satisfied with the results achieved, but also pleads for more decisiveness. In the Green Deal, the European Commission has already indicated that the European ETS should also apply to international shipping. Without discussing when and how. Before something like this goes through the entire legislative process, a lot of valuable time is lost. The European Parliament is now filling it in and we are saving a lot of time. It is time for decisiveness, shipping emissions are running out of their claws.’
Rapporteur and MEP Jutta Paulus (Greens) from Germany: ‘An overwhelming majority of the European Parliament voted in favour of the measures. Today we are sending a strong signal in line with the Green Deal and the climate emergency. Monitoring and reporting CO2 emissions is important, but statistics alone do not save a single gramme of greenhouse gas.’