On Wednesday, Parliament adopted its position on the Commission’s proposal to revise the EU system for monitoring, reporting and verifying CO2 emissions from maritime transport (the “EU MRV Regulation”) with 520 votes to 94 and 77 abstentions.

To remind, maritime transport remains the only sector with no specific EU commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Global shipping accounts for 2-3% of total global GHG emissions, which is more than the emissions of any EU member state. The appointment of Ursula von der Leyen as the new European Commission President, a year ago, marked the official beginning of negotiations for the inclusion of shipping in EU ETS, in line with an ambitious climate and environmental action for Europe in the coming years.

While MEPs agree that reporting obligations by the EU and the IMO should be aligned, as proposed by the Commission, they note that the IMO has made insufficient progress in reaching an ambitious global agreement on GHG emissions.

As such, they ask the Commission to examine the overall environmental integrity of the measures decided by the IMO, including the targets under the Paris Agreement.

Parliament wants maritime transport to be more ambitious and believes ships of 5000 gross tonnage and above should be included in the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS).

However, MEPs say that market-based emissions reduction policies are not enough and:

  • Request that shipping companies reduce their annual average CO2 emissions per transport unit for all their ships by at least 40% by 2030.
  • Call for an “Ocean Fund” for the period from 2022 to 2030, financed by revenues from auctioning allowances under the ETS, to make ships more energy-efficient and to support investment in innovative technologies and infrastructure, such as alternative fuel and green ports. 20% of the revenues under the Fund should be used to contribute to protecting, restoring and efficiently managing marine ecosystems impacted by global warming.

Today, we are sending a strong signal in line with the European Green Deal and the climate emergency: Monitoring and reporting CO2 emissions is important, but statistics alone do not save a single gram of greenhouse gas! That’s why we are going further than the Commission proposal and demanding tougher measures to reduce emissions from maritime shipping,

...says Rapporteur Jutta Paulus (Greens/EFA).

Amid the wide industry discussions on the issue, a study was commissioned by ECSA and ICS to look at both potential advantages and disadvantages of the EU ETS on shipping.

One of the most significant findings is the mismatch between the EU ETS and the complex diversity of the numerous segments within the shipping industry:

The characteristics of the numerous ship types, contractual relationships and operators present a highly complex market that is unlikely to be effectively or appropriately addressed suggesting a pragmatic approach by decision makers is required, as has already being demonstrated by the European Parliament’s recommendation to continue leaving road transport outside the scope of EU-ETS,

...the study reads.

The Parliament is now ready to start negotiations with member states on the final shape of the legislation.