Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) voted to extend the scope of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) to include maritime transport.

In a vote of 60 for and 20 against, MEPs backed increased ambition for the ETS to include 100% of emissions from ocean transport routes within Europe from 2024; extra-EU routes would be covered 50% from 2024-2026 and 100% from 2027 onwards under the proposals.

The type of emissions covered will also expand under the proposals to include more greenhouse gasses. An Ocean Fund will be created to support Europe’s maritime sector in its decarbonisation using 75% of the generated revenue from the auction of maritime emissions allowances.

MEPs have also proposed a bonus-malus system from 2025 which would grant additional free allowances to the most efficient performers in a sector. Overall, free allowances would be phased out from 2026 and gone by 2030, five years earlier than proposed previously.

The proposal still has a long way to go before entering into force. The European Parliaments Plenary will consider and vote on the ETS in its June 6-9 session, and then go on for negotiation with member states if passed.

Rapporteur Peter Liese, said: “This compromise is good for the climate, jobs and people in Europe. We support innovation in industry. Companies that go for climate neutrality will be better off while those that continue to pollute without investing, will have a hard time.”

Jacob Armstrong, sustainable shipping officer at Transport & Environment, said: “Shipping’s right to pollute for free is finally coming to an end. The ENVI Committee has proposed a climate-ambitious carbon market that works for industry and for the climate. The European Parliament Plenary must now rubber stamp this proposal so that we can start to take advantage of the ETS revenues and begin shipping’s long-delayed voyage towards decarbonisation.”

Source: Seatrade Maritime News