EU Green Deal May Limit Shipping Emissions, Outpacing IMO Efforts


Transport & Environment, a preeminent European clean transport campaign group, released a report finding ships sailing to and from Europe emitted more than 139 million tonnes of CO2 in 2019. This means shipping contributes more to EU emissions than the 7 largest emitters (trailing the Netherlands).

The lack of binding emissions regulations beyond the IMO initiatives and the EU MRV (Monitoring, Reporting and Verification) system that records, but does not limit, emissions, must be addressed. 

The EU Green Deal may include limitations on shipping emissions, but the MRV and regulation mechanism have yet to be determined, but the deal proposes a means of acting independently of IMO to address emissions reductions in the shipping sector. 

“The European Parliament has also talked about creating a mandatory operational shipping CO2 standard and zero emission berth standard under the MRV regulations. This is taking the monitoring, reporting, and verification regulations, and using that information to not only see what the emissions are, but also to create a standard where those emissions over time would decline and there would be a charge for those emissions through extension of the EU ETS and then revenue could be reinvested in greening EU economy and infrastructure for ports and ships and in fuel subsidies for ships, etc.,” says Lucy Gilliam, Aviation & Shipping Campaigner at Transport & Environment.