Climate Action

UK shipping industry denounce carbon reduction programme by EU

The UK shipping industry has rejected the European Union’s proposed emissions trading scheme, amidst suggestions ships will refuel at non EU ports if the scheme is enforced.

  • 09 August 2011
  • Simione Talanoa
Despite protests from both the shipping and aviation industry, the European Commission plan on holding its ground in order to reduce emissions.
Despite protests from both the shipping and aviation industry, the European Commission plan on holding its ground in order to reduce emissions.

The UK shipping industry has rejected the European Union’s proposed emissions trading scheme, amidst suggestions ships will refuel at non EU ports if the scheme is enforced. This latest dispute comes after years of talks between shipping companies and governments over how to reduce emissions from the sector have proven unfruitful.

Speaking to the Guardian, UK Chamber of Shipping's Director General, Mark Brownrigg, said: "The EU's emissions trading scheme will not work for shipping. It is not suitable. It is not a global system, and shipping is. This is a complex international debate for which we need active participation from the shipping industry and governments to find a genuine solution. This must be global – through the International Maritime Organisation – rather than regional."

Similar protests have arisen from airlines, which are also included in the scheme to reduce the EU’s carbon footprint, suggesting businesses would choose to land in countries outside the EU to avoid having to pay for carbon permits under the EU's system.

Brownrigg states the Chamber had declined to make a recommendation on the kind of system that should be adopted, saying : "…we are just at the beginning of this discussion. We would like to see this debate finally begin."

The European Commission announced its intentions in 2005 to bring shipping within the scope of the carbon reduction programme, but plans have been significantly delayed with no concrete proposals of implementation established. However, the global shipping industry has progressed towards reducing emissions with the recent adoption of new technical standards for fuel efficiency.

It is anticipated the Chamber of Shipping will publish on Wednesday (10/08/11) discussion documents setting out potential methods of adoption by the industry for carbon emissions reduction, including emissions trading schemes and carbon taxes.

Article by Diva Rodriguez | Climate Action