Ship ‘coffee breaks’ not enough to avoid EU carbon charges

(EurActiv, 14 Dec 2020) The European Union is on course to extend its emission trading scheme to shipping but is yet to decide which voyages should actually be included. New analysis insists that shippers should not try and game the system, as the potential savings on offer are negligible.

Shipping is currently exempt from the emissions trading scheme (ETS) but that is set to change next year, as the European Commission is scheduled to publish its plan for expanding and tweaking the rules of the carbon market.

The exact details of the extension are yet to be ironed out and the Commission has still not decided whether to charge all voyages in and out of EU waters or limit it to domestic trips only.

Aviation is already subject to ETS charges but only intra-EU flights are included. International trips were exempted by the Commission back in 2012 when aviation was folded into the carbon market after airlines successfully lobbied the executive.

The industry is firmly opposed to any charges being levied outside of Union waters – urging the EU to let the International Maritime Organisation regulate the sector – and it has been suggested that shippers could deploy ‘evasive port calls’ to reduce ETS obligations.

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EurActiv, 14 Dec 2020: Ship ‘coffee breaks’ not enough to avoid EU carbon charges