European shipowners have welcomed the European Parliament’s vote to extend the union’s carbon emissions trading system (ETS) to shipping and road transport.
Splash247 reported that parliament had taken the vote just weeks after its earlier vote to expand the tax coverage to all flights that depart from the EU.
In terms of the latest parliamentary decision, all ships above 400 gross tonnage and offshore vessels in the EU’s carbon market will now be included in the carbon tax system. Polluters will have to pay for CO2, methane and nitrous oxide emissions when sailing within the EU and for 50% of voyages outside of the bloc until 2027.
“After 2027, the scope of the carbon market will be automatically extended to 100% of ships entering and leaving European ports. Lawmakers did, however, exclude ice-going ships and ships travelling to the outermost regions,” Splash247 reported. Europe’s clean transport campaigner, Transport & Environment (T&E) welcomed the move and urged national governments to adopt a similarly ambitious position in the European Council later in June.
The European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) welcomed the decision to enforce the polluter-pays principle, by ensuring the compulsory transmission of ETS costs to the commercial operators of the vessels through contractual clauses. The association has also supported the proposal to create a dedicated fund and to earmark 75% of the revenue generated to the sector’s energy transition.
“European shipowners welcome the increased climate ambition of the ‘Fit for 55’ package. We have criticised the lack of consistency and have put forward workable solutions. The parliament’s vote is a strong signal that the European policy-makers listen to us and take into account the proposals of our sector,” said ECSA Secretary-General, Sotiris Raptis.
“We need all hands on deck and the role of the commercial operators is key for reducing emissions. The earmarking of the revenues to shipping is a prerequisite for financing the uptake of cleaner fuels. It’s a make-or-break moment for the decarbonisation of shipping and the competitiveness of the sector,” Raptis said.