SEA Europe supportive of European Green Deal – but wants ETS alternative

SEA Europe, the Shipyards’ and Maritime Equipment Association of Europe, is proposing the creation of an EU Maritime Fund as an ‘opt-out alternative’ to the inclusion of shipping in the European Union’s Emission Trading Scheme (ETS).

Last September, the European Parliament voted to included shipping (vessels over 5,000 GT) in the EU’s ETS by as early as 1 January 2022.

However, SEA Europe suggests that a dedicated maritime fund would ensure that revenue is targeted at green shipping projects and this would accelerate the sector’s energy transition.

‘We believe that an EU Maritime Fund will be a better incentive, not only to develop green technologies but also to support mature energy-saving technologies and sustainable alternative fuels and their integration onboard ships. Equally, such Fund will be a better incentive to deploy green infrastructure as well as to financially stimulate first movers and fleet renewal across Europe,’ said Christophe Tytgat, SEA Europe’s Secretary General.

He continued: ‘We think that an EU Maritime Fund will accelerate the CO2 emission reduction of waterborne transport and provide better opportunities than the EU ETS scheme to control the appropriate use of the funds available to green the waterborne sector.

‘The major advantage of our proposal is that the revenues generated by the sector itself can be specifically allocated to the greening of waterborne transport.’

Under SEA Europe’s proposal, shipping companies would have to choose between entering the EU ETS auctioning system or contributing directly to the EU Maritime Fund.

Those shipping companies that sign up to the ETS would benefit from free allowances – the conditions for these have to be decided by European regulators. The amount of free allowances allocated to shipping companies would be reduced over time in order to incentivise the uptake of more efficient ships.

Related reading: European Parliament votes to extend EU ETS to shipping

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

Lesley Bankes-Hughes

Lesley Bankes-Hughes