Shipping Industry Disappointed But Not Surprised by Today’s EP Vote on Regional CO2 Measures
Following today’s vote in the European Parliament, adopting a regional EU Regulation on the Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) of individual ship emissions of CO2, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), BIMCO and Intercargo have issued the following statement:
Today’s vote was expected, being based on the political agreement reached between the EU institutions at the end of last year.
However, the shipping industry is still disappointed by the Parliament’s confirmation of the EU decision to pre-empt the current International Maritime Organization (IMO) negotiations on a global data collection system on shipping’s CO2 emissions by adopting a unilateral, regional Regulation on the Monitoring, Reporting and Verification of individual ship emissions – which will also apply to non-EU flag ships trading to Europe – in advance of IMO completing its work.
Until now, with the industry’s support, the IMO negotiations have been progressing well. But there is a danger that the EU initiative will be seen by non-EU nations as an attempt to present them with a fait accompli. The EU Regulation includes controversial elements, such as the publication of commercially sensitive data on individual ships, an idea which had previously been rejected by the majority of IMO governments during a meeting of the Marine Environment Protection Committee in October 2014.
At the IMO, negotiations on additional measures to help reduce CO2 continue at the MEPC in two weeks’ time. It will be vital for EU Member States to explain how the new EU Regulation can be implemented in a way which is fully compatible with whatever might be agreed by IMO for global application, in the interests of avoiding the unhelpful complication of a separate regional regime.
The shipping industry associations reiterate that the latest IMO Green House Gas Study, published in 2014, found that international shipping had reduced its total CO2 emissions by more than 10% between 2007 and 2012, despite an increase in maritime trade.