Draft EU rules requiring ship owners using EU ports to monitor and report annual CO2 emissions from January 2018, informally agreed between MEPs and the Council, received the support of the Environment committee on Thursday. These new rules will cover carbon dioxide (CO2) from ships over 5000 gross tons, irrespective of where they are registered, as a first step for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from maritime transport.
The draft text establishes an EU-wide system for the monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) of greenhouse gas emissions from shipping, in order to improve the information about ship efficiency and emissions from the sector, and encourage reducing emissions and fuel consumption.
“This text is important both for the environment and for the competitiveness of the European shipping sector. I expect this future legislation to encourage the adoption of new technologies and operating measures to improve ships’ fuel efficiency and to lower costs” said José Inácio Faria (ALDE, PT) who is steering the legislation through Parliament. His second reading recommendation was approved with 58 votes in favour and 3 abstentions.
The MRV requirements will apply to CO2 emissions arising from voyages to, from and between EU ports. All ships over 5000 gross tons will be covered, with the exception of fishing vessels (catching and/or processing), warships, naval auxiliaries, wooden ships of a primitive build, ships not propelled by mechanical means and government ships used for non-commercial purposes.
Reduce the administrative burden on companies
The plans also seek to minimize the administrative burden on companies and make the measurements as accurate as possible. Ship efficiency – measured in relation to the amount of cargo carried – will be reported for all categories of ships. However, detailed rules were introduced to ensure that specific rules apply to each ship category. Where the emission report of a ship owner fulfills the requirements, an independent verifier should deliver a document of compliance, which ships will have to carry on board and will be subject to inspection by Member States, who will also establish penalties for infringing the rules.
Under the new rules, the Commission will have to biannually assess the maritime transport sector’s overall impact on the global climate including the non-CO2 greenhouse gases. The text also stipulates that it will have to review this Regulation when an international agreement is reached at the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
International maritime shipping remains the only means of transportation not included in the Union’s action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. At EU level, the international maritime sector today accounts for 4% of greenhouse gas emissions and these are expected to increase significantly in the future.