The European Union early next year will unveil a system aimed at reducing greenhouse emissions in the ocean shipping industry because efforts to curb pollution on the seas aren’t moving fast enough.
The EU is considering several options for curbing emissions, including market-based mechanisms, and the creation of a system to monitor, report and verify pollutants based on fuel consumption will be the first step. The efforts will “feed” into the International Maritime Organization’s push to reduce emissions, EU Vice President Siim Kallas and EU Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard said in a joint statement on Monday.
The EU has previously suggested taxing carriers for the emissions produced by their vessels, much like its current scheme that charges airlines for carbon emissions for flights to and from Europe. The EU has said it will establish its own regulations on shipping emission if the IMO fails to act.
“Discussions about further global measures are on-going at IMO level, but we need intermediary steps to quickly deliver emissions reductions, such as energy efficiency measures also for existing ships,” according to the statement.
Under the IMO’s Energy Efficiency Design Index, vessels built next year that are above 400 gross metric tons will have to meet new energy consumption standards. Operators of existing vessels are also encouraged to use the IMO’s Ship Energy Efficiency Operation Indicator, a mechanism used to determine a vessel’s fuel efficiency by the amount of carbon dioxide emissions produced per ton mile.
The IMO estimates global shipping contributes about 3.3 percent of the world's man-made emissions, and such pollution would expand by up to 250 percent by 2050 if the new rules weren’t in place.