The Liberian Registry is the latest industry stakeholder to publicly reject the European Union’s (EU) plan to include shipping in its Emissions Trading System (ETS), calling instead for a ‘unified global effort’ to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
As previously reported by ship.energy industry bodies such as BIMCO, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and the World Shipping Council have all been critical of the EU’s attempt to introduce a unilateral emissions trading system.
Commenting on the EU’s proposal, Alfonso Castillero, Chief Operating Officer of the Liberian International Ship and Corporate Registry (LISCR) says: ‘We understand the need for efforts to lower greenhouse gas emissions, and continue to push for a cleaner environment, as well as a more efficient maritime industry.
‘However, at least for international shipping, it is vital we work toward one set of requirements established by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), avoiding the creation of a fractured system of regional requirements that reach beyond their own waters, and assuring a unified global effort to confront this important issue.’
He continued: ‘The EU ETS scheme, if implemented, should be applicable only to those waters of EU members, and not become a global scheme. The EU ETS scheme, if applied extraterritorially beyond intra-EU voyages, will distort the global market situation because it will cover voyages not only within the EU, but also voyages to and from the
EU as agreed by the EU Parliament. Like many other IMO member states, we remain committed to working with the EU on a collaborative effort to address the environmental challenges posed by greenhouse gas emissions.’
Castillero argued that EU’s intention to use the scope of its existing legislation on the Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) of carbon emissions and apply it to the geographic range of the EU ETS would mean it was not just a ‘regional’ system but ‘would, in effect, regulate the operation of ships on several of the world’s seas and oceans, including on the high seas and in waters adjacent to non-EU nations.’
LISCR noted that: ‘If the EU were to apply its ETS to shipping using the same geographic scope as the EU’s existing MRV regulation, the effect would be to apply a financial charge on voyages that in some cases stretch halfway around the world. Over half of the covered emissions would result from voyages outside of EU waters.’
Such a move, argued the Registry, ‘opens up the very real prospect of trade and tax retaliation on a global scale’.