Parliament urges international decision-makers to raise the level of ambition for emissions reductions of the maritime shipping sector, in order to meet climate targets.

An official delegation of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) actively participated in the 76th session of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), which took place remotely from 10 to 17 June 2021.                                                                                             Pernille Weiss (EPP, DK), co-chair of the ENVI delegation stated: “It has been a pleasure participating in the delegation to the IMO MEPC 76. My co-chair, Jytte Guteland and I, together with the delegation of colleagues from the Environment Committee, observed the many debates among IMO members and benefitted greatly from meeting bilaterally with different groups of stakeholders, representatives of the Portuguese Council Presidency as well as of Council members, and of course IMO experts. It is clear that the EU faces a major challenge – both politically and tactically – in pushing the IMO towards green transformation, due to the international dimension of the shipping industry. One of the things we urgently need to address is the transition to new fuels with a focus on a full life-cycle perspective when evaluating which fuels are truly clean and green.”                                 Jytte Guteland (S&D, SE), co-chair of the ENVI delegation added: “Shipping is one of the sectors that still sails under the radar when it comes to taking responsibility for their own emissions. This is totally unacceptable. The outcome of this IMO session is a big disappointment when it comes to tackling global warming. An annual target on carbon intensity of 1% for 2020-2022 and 2% for 2022-2026 might sound like progress, but let’s face it: it basically means “status quo” and is not even in line with IMO’s own greenhouse gases strategy. We would need something around 7% for the emissions to peak in line with the Paris Agreement. Important issues, such as the question of black carbon, were not even raised during the session. Year after year, the IMO continues to fail to find solutions for tackling the climate emergency. It is obvious that the EU must act and put pressure. We must continue the current process of integrating maritime emissions under the Emissions Trading System (ETS). Now more than ever, it is time for the Commission to include all shipping under the ETS, not just shipping between EU ports.”

On 3 June 2021, the Environment Committee organised an exchange of views with the European Commission on the measures needed to achieve reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from the maritime sector, in view of the upcoming 76th Session of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC). Subsequently, the ENVI Chair wrote a letter to Vice-President Timmermans, underlining the need for stronger policies in view of the decarbonisation of the maritime sector, including its inclusion under the revised EU ETS and in line with Parliament’s position on the revision of the EU system for monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) of CO2 emissions from maritime transport.