The European Commission today took the first step towards cutting greenhouse gas emissions from the maritime transport industry. It proposed legislation which, starting in 2018, will require owners of large ships using EU ports to monitor and report the ships' annual carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
The Commission also published a Communication setting out its strategy to address and reduce these emissions, preferably through measures at global level.
Connie Hedegaard, EU Commissioner for Climate Action, said: "Today we are charting a clear course towards reducing maritime greenhouse gas emissions. The EU monitoring system will bring environmental and economic gains for the shipping sector by increasing transparency about emissions and creating an incentive for ship-owners to cut them. This initiative is fully in line with the latest proposals on global fuel efficiency standards and market-based measures being discussed in the International Maritime Organization. Robust monitoring, reporting and verification of emissions is an essential precondition for informed discussions in Europe and worldwide on reduction targets for the sector."
The proposal will create an EU-wide legal framework for collecting and publishing verified annual data on CO2 emissions from all large ships (over 5 000 gross tons) that use EU ports, irrespective of where the ships are registered.
Ship owners will have to monitor and report the verified amount of CO2 emitted by their large ships on voyages to, from and between EU ports. Owners will also be required to provide certain other information, such as data to determine the ships' energy efficiency.
It is proposed that the rules apply from 1 January 2018.
Siim Kallas, Commission Vice-President, responsible for mobility and transport, said: "We recognise that shipping must contribute to efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, preferably through global measures which are the most environmentally effective and make economic sense. For a global sector such as maritime transport, this can best be achieved through the International Maritime Organization. On the basis of today's policy outline, the EU will continue its efforts, jointly with its global partners, to achieve a comprehensive international solution. Today's proposal is a significant contribution to IMO efforts to cut fuel use and increase the fuel efficiency of ships with a range of instruments including technical and market-based measures."