European shipping’s climate record

Using data reported under the monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) regulation of EU maritime emissions, environmental group Transport & Environment found that container shipping operator, Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), joined coal power plants in the EU’s top 10 emitters list in 2018. MSC was responsible for about 11 Mt of CO₂ from operations falling under the scope of the EU MRV.

The data also shows that ships sailing to and from Europe emitted more than 139 million tonnes of CO₂ in 2018. If shipping were a country it would be the EU’s eighth biggest emitter after the Netherlands. Despite this, shipping is the only sector with no binding measures to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions in the bloc and still does not pay for its pollution. The sector is exempt under EU law from paying tax on its fuel, an effective subsidy worth €24 billion a year, according to T&E.

Launched on 11 December, the European Commission’s Green Deal commits to bringing shipping emissions under the bloc’s emissions trading system (ETS) to help make the EU carbon neutral. T&E said this was an essential first step to rein in the sector’s climate impact. But additional measures, including a CO₂standard for how much ships can emit while in operation, will also be needed to accelerate energy efficiency technologies and zero-carbon fuels/energy.

Source: T&E News, 9 and 16 December 2019.

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