EU’s Carbon Market for Shipping Leaves Millions of Tonnes of CO2 Unregulated, Study Shows 

A study by environmental group Transport & Environment (T&E) has found that the European Commission’s proposals to bring shipping into the bloc’s carbon market contain exclusions for small commercial and military vessels that would leave millions of tonnes of CO2 emissions unregulated.

Ship owners will have to buy permits under the ETS when their ships pollute or face possible bans from EU ports. The proposals exclude ships below 5,000 gross tonnage (GT) – including small offshore supply ships that service the oil and gas industries. Fishing and military vessels would also be exempt.

T&E identified that these omissions would translate to 25.8mT of CO2 not be captured by the EU ETS. Roughly 20% of the 130mT emitted annually by shipping in the bloc would be excluded. T&E has said the proposals are too lenient for too many heavily polluting vessels and that the EU must rethink its shipping laws.

An EC official stated that the 5,000 GT threshold aimed to minimise the administrative burden on companies while still allowing cover for the vast majority of sector GHGs. The EC also said its proposal was aligned with the emissions covered by an existing regulation on the monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) of emissions from maritime transport. Ships above 5,000 GT accounted for around 55% of the vessels calling into EU ports and around 90% of the related emissions.

Shipping is set to be added to the EU ETS from 2023, phased over a three-year period. With about 90% of world trade transported by sea, global shipping accounts for nearly 3% of the world’s CO2 emissions.

Adapted from an article in GCaptain