Brussels (Brussels Morning) Japan, South Korea and international shipping organisations have criticised the EU’s plan to add emissions from the maritime sector to the bloc’s carbon market, Reuters reported Friday.
Power plants, factories and airlines operating flights in the EU must buy pollution permits according to current regulations, with the EU Commission now calling for an expansion of the carbon market to the shipping industry in order to help achieve climate neutrality by 2050.
The government of Japan criticised the proposed extension of the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) to international shipping, advising the EU Commission against the move. The government of South Korea warned that application of EU ETS to international shipping would have negative effects on the environment as well as the sustainability of global maritime transport.
The two countries said that the EU plan could increase trade tensions and lead shipping companies to take longer routes in order to avoid stops in the bloc, thereby increasing emissions. Shipping accounts for about 2.1% of global CO2 emissions, which could start going up unless the sector keeps up with global efforts aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions.
Industry associations such as the World Shipping Council and the Baltic and International Maritime Council stress it is too early to impose a carbon tax on shipping as there are no viable technologies available to reduce emissions. The UN’s International Maritime Organisation (IMO) warned that the EU plan undermines its efforts to develop measures aimed at halving emissions in shipping by 2050.
German Green MEP Jutta Paulus, whose proposal to add shipping to the EU ETS was passed in the EU Parliament in September, criticised the IMO approach as inadequate. She claimed the IMO had failed to failed to come forward with binding measures to curb emissions soon enough.
Luca Bonaccorsi, European Federation for Transport and Environment director, criticised the EU’s draft standards for green classification last week, insisting that the proposal would not stimulate investments in sustainable shipping. One of the criteria for the green label for vessels is efficiency of 10% above global standard.