Speaking from the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, ICS Director of Policy, Simon Bennett, has commented on the provisional decision by the European Union not to include shipping within the full scope of the regional EU Emissions Trading System (ETS).
“We think that this demonstrates confidence within the EU institutions in the current progress being made at the UN IMO to develop an ambitious strategy that will deliver additional CO2 reduction measures, consistent with the shipping industry’s own vision of zero emissions, as soon as possible.”
Mr Bennett added: “We understand that the date which the EU has agreed for when the European Commission will next closely examine the progress that has been made globally is consistent with those time lines agreed by all IMO Member States.”
ICS – the global trade association for shipowners – believes the decision also shows a welcome recognition within the EU, including the European Commission, that ETS, is an inappropriate tool for application to an industry like shipping. This is because of the huge risk of creating serious market distortions and the administrative challenge of incorporating tens of thousands of ships operated by thousands of SMEs into a discredited system which the EU is already struggling to reform.
“The industry does not support the concept of Market Based Measures (MBM),” said Mr Bennett. “But in the event that, as part of the IMO strategy, MBMs are included as a possible candidate measure, today’s EU decision does at least make it more likely that the type of MBM that might be explored would be a global fuel levy.
“And compared to the nightmare of a regional ETS, a global fuel levy would clearly be the preference of the vast majority of shipowners should an MBM ever be imposed on them.”