Carriers react to EU calls for shipping to accelerate decarbonisation

Logistics and container loading by large barges by sea in a harbor full of containers waiting to be transported

A.P. Moeller-Maersk (Maersk) has urged the EU to coordinate any and all measures to cut carbon emissions with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) after the MEPs voted to include the shipping industry in the European Trading System (ETS).

In a statement to Port Technology International, Maersk said it was vital for the EU to recognise that shipping is a “truly global” industry and that any measure it implements to be an “incubator for global progress”.

“For Maersk, it is of paramount importance that all players are ready to progress and show leadership on this agenda,” the carrier said.

“The role of regulatory entities is key and the European Parliament has a part in pushing the EU’s ambitions. Maersk has actively engaged in securing concrete CO2 reductions over the past decade. This has helped the company secure a 9% better than industry average energy efficiency.

“It is consequently important that the EU continues to protect and reward first movers. A potential regional EU measure needs to be based on a thorough impact assessment and bearing in mind that this industry is truly global.”

The statement follows the European Parliament’s decision to revise the EU system for monitoring, reporting and verifying CO2 emissions.

This includes binding requirements for carriers to reduce their annual average CO2 emissions per transport work, for all their ships, by at least 40% by 2030.

The Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee welcomed the vote and called for the creation of an Ocean Fund for the period covering 2023 – 2030 to make vessels environmentally friendly.

Going further, MEPs agreed there was “insufficient progress” from the IMO in its efforts to decarbonise shipping and there was a need to align it with the EU’s reporting obligations.

The vote on 7 June came after Transport and Environment, Europe’s largest environmental campaign group, said MSC had overtaken coal plants as one the continent’s biggest carbon emitters, something the carrier refutes.

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