Ships Will Wipe Out Half The Emissions Savings To Be Made By Cars And Trucks

Growth in emissions from shipping and aviation will undo nearly half (43%) of the savings expected to be made by the rest of transport in Europe through to 2030, a new independent study has found. It means that almost half of the already-inadequate emissions savings expected in land transport will be cancelled out by ships and planes, according to the report commissioned by sustainable group Transport & Environment (T&E).

Under measures already in place, land transport is expected to consume 43 Mtoe (million tonnes of oil equivalent) less energy per year in 2030 than it did in 2010, according to consultant CE Delft. Even this 43 Mtoe cut is less than half of what will be required from land transport under the EU’s proposed 2030 Effort Sharing Regulation. Yet ships and planes in Europe will consume 19 Mtoe more fuel annually in 2030 than they did 20 years earlier. So the growth in these two sectors will undo almost half of the already insufficient progress made by cars, vans, trucks, rail and inland navigation.

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Bill Hemmings, aviation and shipping director at T&E, said: “Planes and ships are free riding at the expense of land transport’s already insufficient efforts to cut emissions. This is not only unfair but a roadblock to Europe meeting its own climate commitments. Governments need to think again and include shipping in the emissions trading system and strengthen its aviation provisions.”

Shipping emissions are totally unregulated but next week the European Parliament will consider a proposal to fix this by creating a Maritime Climate Fund and including ship emissions in the EU’s emissions trading system (ETS). In January the European Commission will make a proposal on aviation’s future in the ETS.

Shipping CO2 emissions can be reduced cumulatively by 80 million tonnes by 2030 if the sector is included in the ETS, compared to the status quo where its emissions are not regulated, according to the European Commission. The difference between action and inaction up to 2030 amounts to the total annual emissions of Austria. Currently MEPs in the environment committee are discussing whether to include the sector in the ETS through a Maritime Climate Fund. The fund would rebate a portion of ETS revenues back to the sector to finance sustainability projects.


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