Shipping on its way into ETS

When the European Parliament voted on its position for the revision of the EU’s monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) system for ship emissions in September, they agreed that ships must be included in the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) and that shipping companies should reduce their annual average CO₂ emissions per transport unit for all their ships by at least 40 per cent by 2030.

“The Parliament is tired of inaction in the face of steadily rising shipping emissions. This is a clear signal to President von der Leyen that the EU’s more ambitious 2030 climate target must apply to maritime emissions too and that ships must pay for all of their pollution in the EU carbon market,” said Faïg Abbasov at Transport & Environment (T&E).

The Parliament also agreed that by 2030 ships should be required to stop emitting harmful air pollutants and greenhouse gases when docked in EU ports, and called for the monitoring system for shipping emissions to be made more transparent, too.

Sources: T&E press release, 15 September 2020; Shipping Watch, 17 September 2020.

In this issue


The clock is ticking to achieve the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement. To be clear right from the start: this goal deserves every effort that mankind can pull off. In the name of realism, this is the goal we must focus on now, given the current level of progress in reducing greenhouse gases. However, damage to marine ecosystems will not be avoided even if we reach this goal1. In fact, damage already occurs at current levels of warming, as evidenced by the bleaching of coral reefs2. This may be an inconvenient truth when our current goal is 1.5°C.

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