The Commission has said that it will draft legislation, by the end of the year, aimed at tackling the shipping industry’s rapidly growing contribution to climate change, by including the sector in Europe’s carbon dioxide cap-and-trade system.
The Commission confirmed on 16 April 2007 that it will propose adding shipping companies to the emissions trading scheme (ETS), the EU’s principal tool for fighting global warming and meeting its Kyoto commitments.
Up to now, work on reducing CO2 emissions from ships has been carried out within the framework of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), but it has focused mainly on establishing methods to calculate emissions, rather than concrete measures to reduce them.
The threat of unilateral action from the EU, which controls 41% of the world’s fleet, could stimulate the debate.
But there is also a risk it could trigger a transatlantic dispute similar to that caused by draft EU rules, published late last year, to impose emissions trading on all airlines flying to and from European airports as of 2012. The US has threatened legal action if the EU goes ahead with these plans.