EU parliament votes to make ships pay for their pollution

The European Parliament voted yesterday September 15th in favour of including greenhouse gas emissions from the maritime sector in the EU’s carbon market from 2022.  In a vote on Tuesday EU legislators said the bloc’s carbon market should be expanded to include emissions from voyages within Europe, as well as international trips which start or finish in an EU port.

This would force shipowners to buy EU carbon permits to cover these emissions.

The EU parliament will formally approve its position with another vote on Wednesday.

A draft European Commission document to be published on Thursday reportedly confirms plans to expand the scheme to “at least intra-EU maritime transport”.

This would likely happen through a package of market reforms the Commission will propose by June 2021. The expansion of the scheme may take until 2023 to implement.

Simon Bennett, deputy secretary-general of the International Chamber of Shipping, said that “the proposal to extend the EU (carbon market) to international shipping ignores global negotiations already underway at the IMO, and risks enflaming trade tensions at a delicate time for the world economy”.