EP’s Environment Committee votes for GHG reduction measures for shipping

Today’s decision by the European Parliament’s Environment Committee to amend the Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) Regulation sets a binding target for improving vessel efficiency and also extends EU emissions trading to the shipping sector, with half the revenue raised to be channelled into a fund to support environmental initiatives such as shipping’s decarbonisation.

There was cross-party adoption of the report by the Environment Committee, and Rapporteur of the European Parliament and leading negotiator Jutta Paulus commented on the result of the vote: ‘The Environment Committee has today made an important contribution to achieving the Paris Climate Agreement goals!

‘I am very pleased that a majority of MEPs support the extension of the EU ETS to maritime transport. We also agreed that half of the revenue should go to a fund that supports research and development of innovative, climate-friendly ships and co-finances nature conservation in our seas. It was important to everyone that, in addition to CO2, other climate-damaging gases, especially methane, should also be included in the monitoring programme.

Paulus continued: ‘The ambitious efficiency target of 40% less CO2 per tonne of freight transported and nautical mile travelled will probably have the greatest effect. For this will provide a real incentive to build more economical ships – which will also operate outside the EU.’

‘In its present form, the MRV Regulation has done important groundwork and provided valuable data on CO2 emissions from ships. However, data alone does not reduce greenhouse gases. That is why we MEPs have gone far beyond the Commission proposal.’

The amended regulation will now be put to a plenary vote in September.

Lesley Bankes-Hughes

Lesley Bankes-Hughes