EPP calls for 50% cut in shipping CO2 emissions by 2030, if conditions met

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The European People’s Party, the largest political group in the Euro parliament, is calling for a 50% cut in shipping emissions by integrating them into the existing EU Emissions Trading System (ETS), if an impact assessment shows that this works.

“Cutting emissions to net zero by 2050 in Europe is ambitious and challenging. This is why each sector needs to contribute, also shipping,” said EPP Group rapporteur Pernille Weiss. The EU ETS is the right instrument for this, but we must do it properly, she said.

“We want a debate with all the relevant stakeholders and an impact assessment outlining the possible consequences by June 2021. Then we can make our final decision”, the Danish MEP added.

Parliament’s Environment Committee votes Tuesday on changes to the data collection system for ship fuel oil consumption. Weiss is negotiating the draft law on behalf of the EPP Group.

Cyprus, which accounts for the 11th biggest merchant fleet and the leading ship-management hub, is represented in the EPP with two MEPs, Lefteris Christoforou and Loucas Fourlas, both of whom are ardent supporters of the maritime industry.

Weiss wants the new rules to reward, not punish, the first movers.

“Shipping companies that have already heavily invested in reducing their emissions over the last decade must not be penalised. Our goal is to reduce CO2 emissions in shipping by 50% by 2030, compared to 2008 levels”, said Weiss.

The EPP Group opposes a reduction of 40% compared to 2018-2019, as proposed by the Greens. “This would favour the biggest polluters”, she added.

Weiss is calling for a dedicated law on shipping under the ETS rather than including it in a law which deals with shipping data collection.

“Unlike the Greens, we want to review the ETS Directive properly, have a proper impact assessment and a broad consensus”, she emphasised.

International shipping represents around 13% of the EU greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the transport sector. If left undealt with, CO2 maritime emissions could increase by 50-250% by 2050, the EPP said.

The European Commission plans to present new rules addressing the emission cuts in shipping by the end of 2020 or the beginning of 2021.