Environment ministers of the EU27 approved a carbon market to regulate key sources of transport emissions, but important exemptions remain, says Transport and Environment (T&E).
he EU’s Environment ministers pushed through ambitious proposals on key files of the Fit for 55 package relating to the carbon market, effort sharing between member states and a social climate fund.
However, T&E warns that if exemptions are not removed from the deal, the bloc could miss its 2030 climate target. More specifically, Carlos Calvo Ambel, senior director at T&E, welcomed member states’ decision to green light the first ever carbon market on international shipping.
Namely, environment ministers endorsed the Commission proposal to include international shipping in the EU ETS. But, T&E mentioned that “they also introduced unnecessary exemptions, which could undermine the effectiveness of the carbon market and create an unlevel playing field in the market.”
In particular, the exemptions for ferries to islands with under 200,000 inhabitants will only increase air pollution for those islands and reduce incentives to clean up those vessels.
While member states agreed to start monitoring methane and nitrous oxides from ships, these would not be automatically included in the carbon market yet. It was also positive that ministers agreed to already monitor emissions of some smaller cargo ships; the upcoming negotiations with the European Parliament will be an opportunity to extend this coverage to all vessels between 400 and 5,000 gross tonnage.
During June, the EU Parliament has voted in favour of extending its carbon market to shipping and road transport.
The Parliament has voted in favour of including all ships above 400 gross tonnage and offshore vessels in the EU’s carbon market. Polluters will have to pay for all greenhouse gases they pollute when sailing within the EU and 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 bow to pressure by including exemptions for ice-going ships and ships traveling to outermost regions, delaying the decarbonisation of these vessels.