BIMCO: EU ETS will ‘inhibit’ progress on global CO2 cutbacks

If an EU emissions trading scheme goes ahead, ‘shipping risks getting hit by multiple emission trading systems which will make a global ETS much more difficult to achieve,’ says David Loosley, BIMCO Secretary General.

As previously reported, the European Parliament recently voted in favour of bringing shipping into its ETS, by as early as 2022.

BIMCO is now calling on the EU to work at the IMO level ‘to get a global market-based measure established, when the required technology is available, which would ensure the industry operates on a level playing field.’

Commenting on the EU’s drive to include shipping in its ETS, Loosley said: ‘Given the international political climate in 2020, I see it as much more likely today that the EU ETS will be met with retaliation from its international trading partners over such a move.’

BIMCO also suggests that a regional market-based measure would not encourage shipowners to invest in carbon- reducing technologies.

‘When you build a ship, you don’t know how often it will call at EU ports during its 25 year lifetime. That makes it impossible to calculate when an investment in carbon-reducing technology will have paid off. The consequence is that a regional ETS will not change how ships are built – it will just be a tax that ultimately ends up with the consumers,’ says Loosley.

He continued: ‘When there are viable technology solutions commercially available to reduce carbon emissions, BIMCO will fully consider market-based measures to drive the uptake of such technologies.

In the meantime, BIMCO advocates for an International Maritime Research Fund to drive innovation, paid for by a mandatory contribution on fuel used by ships, into technology the industry needs to cut carbon emissions by 50% in 2050 and ultimately eliminate those emissions.’

Lesley Bankes-Hughes

Lesley Bankes-Hughes