Global shipping industry bodies have expressed worries about the plan of the European Union to include the maritime sector in its Emissions Trading System.
BIMCO: risk of multiple systems
Shipowner body BIMCO has warned that if the European Union includes ocean shipping it its regional Emissions Trading System then “shipping risks getting hit by multiple emission trading systems which will make a global … Market Based Measure much more difficult to achieve”.
Instead, the EU should work with the international community via the International Maritime Organization to get a global market based measure established, the ship owner body said.
BIMCO also argued that as no-one knows how often a ship will call at EU ports during its life then a regional ETS will not change how ships are built. “It will just be a tax that ultimately ends up with consumers,” BIMCO secretary general David Loosely said.
Word Shipping Council: serious concerns for maritime trade
Global liner shipping association, the World Shipping Council – which has members that together represent about 90 percent of global liner shipping capacity, has expressed its “serious concerns” for maritime trade.
Criticising the inclusion of global shipping in the EU ETS, the Council said the expansion would “establish an unprecedented degree of control over extraterritorial voyages” that would likely create significant trade tensions. It also expressed concerns that, as significant cargo volumes are trans-shipped via EU ports to numerous less-developed countries, the expansion of the EU ETS would have a direct impact on the delivery of goods to less developed countries.
Intercargo: EU ignores industry calls for collaboration
Dry cargo shipowner body, Intercargo, argued that “global challenges and problems require global handling and solutions”.
Intercargo argued that the IMO works to ensure a global level playing field and that the introduction of regional initiatives creates distortions and multi-tier markets and trade tension. It further argued that the inclusion of shipping in the EU ETS risks trade retaliation, the decline of European ports and the danger that trans-shipment centres will be set up just outside EU borders served by large efficient bulk vessels.
“Smaller, less GHG efficient ships will then transport cargoes to EU ports which will lose efficiencies gained through technology and size. In short, carbon leakage will take place,” Intercargo said.
Intercargo secretary general Kostas Gkonis slammed the EU’s move: “the inclusion of shipping in EU ETS is basically a money collection mechanism, fundamentally disconnected from the work at IMO”.
EU ETS – a short explainer
Described by the European Commission as a “cornerstone of EU policy to combat climate change” the EU ETS is the world’s largest carbon emissions trading market. Set up in 2005, it operates in all EU countries plus Iceland, Liechenstein and Norway, and covers about 45 per cent of all EU greenhouse gas emissions by limiting emissions from power stations, industrial plants and airlines.
The system works on a “cap and trade” principle. A cap is set on the total amount of emissions and that cap is reduced over time so that total emissions fall.
Companies can receive or buy emissions allowances that they can trade with each other as needed. They can also buy limited amounts of international credits from emission-savings projects.
A company must cover all its emissions with allowances. If a company reduces its emissions it can either keep them for the future or sell them to another a company.