EU emissions trading scheme is not suitable for shipping, says trade association
The UK’s shipping industry has roundly rejected theEuropean Union’semissions trading scheme, defying calls for shipping to be included in the carbon reduction programme.
Mark Brownrigg, theUK Chamber of Shipping’s director general, told the Guardian: “The EU’semissions trading scheme will not work for shipping. It is not suitable. It is not a global system, and shipping is.”
He claimed that if shipping were to be included, as campaigners have called for, that ships would simply refuel instead at non-EU ports.
Aviation is to be included in the emissions trading system, despite similar claims from airlines, which have said that companies would choose to land in countries outside the EU to avoid having to pay for carbon permits under the EU’s system.
However, theEuropean Commission held firm, and airlines will be included in the scheme. Although US airlines are disputing the legality of this decision in the courts, no airline from any country has announced plans to land flights outside the EU in preference to continuing with their current schedules.
The Chamber of Shipping will publish on Wednesday discussion documents setting out how the industry could adopt different methods of carbon reduction, including emissions trading schemes and carbon taxes.
Brownrigg said: “This is a complex international debate for which we need active participation from the shipping industry and governments to find a genuine solution. This must be global – through theInternational Maritime Organisation – rather than regional.”
He said the Chamber had declined to make a recommendation on the kind of system that should be adopted, as “we are just at the beginning of this discussion”, despite years of talks between shipping companies and governments over how to reduce emissions from the sector.
Brownrigg said: “We would like to see this debate finally begin.”
The EU announced in 2005 – the year in which its emissions trading scheme began, covering land-based heavy industries – that it intended to bring shipping within the scope of the system, but those plans have been delayed and there are no concrete proposals.
The global shipping industry recently adoptednew technical standardsfor fuel efficiency, which reduce emissions.
Brownrigg said: “It is crucial that we do not discount either of the main proposed economic mechanisms for encouraging carbon reductions. The debate lies ahead on which option will provide greater certainty of outcome, ease of application, and without damaging the growth of the industry and world trade. That debate must be based on practical considerations rather than conjecture.”
Source: The Guardian