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The European Union Emissions Trading System (ETS) ‘has the potential to be a steppingstone towards carbon neutral shipping,’ Linea Søgaard-Lidell, Member of the European Parliament (MEP) has said.

Søgaard-Lidell made the remarks during a recent webinar to scrutinise the ongoing ETS negotiations from a Danish perspective.

Linea Søgaard-Lidell, who is involved in the negotiation of the Fit for 55 package for the liberal group, Renew Europe, gave the introductory presentation and emphasised the continuous wish for global regulation that includes shipping.

‘We need a global solution from IMO, but in its continued absence, in EU we must do as much as we can to push for a worldwide solution,’ she said before highlighting the potential for the ETS to contribute to carbon neutrality in the shipping sector. During the webinar, Søgaard-Lidell also emphasised that the EU should set an early starting date for when all shipping to and from EU ports must be included in the carbon regulation.

For its part, Danish Shipping, which organised the webinar in conjunction with Søgaard-Lidell, highlighted its two clear priorities in relation to the ETS.

Firstly, the trade and employer organisation called for a full life-cycle perspective to be applied which takes into account not only the emissions from the exhaust gas of the ship, but also the production of the fuel, maintaining that it should pay off to invest in fuels that are based on renewable rather than fossil energy.

Secondly, Danish Shipping said the contractual relationship between the shipowner and the charterer should not be regulated but should instead be part of the negotiations that already takes place between the involved parties. The allowance cost must be placed where the market so requires, the organisation said.

At the webinar, Danish shipping companies Maersk and NORDEN also stressed the importance of these two points seen from the perspective of respectively container and tramp shipping.

‘To reap the full benefits of the ETS regulation we must invest in green fuels. In short, it should cost you fewer allowances if you sail on fuel produced on renewable energy. Basically, all actors must pull in the same direction to initiate and promote the transition,’ said Maria Skipper Schwenn, Executive Director of Climate, Environment and Security, Danish Shipping.

‘Therefore, it does not help if the allowance cost by law is placed with the charterer. The shipowner also has a responsibility for the transition and for investing in energy efficiency. The two parties can easily negotiate a contract that ensures payment of the allowance,’ Skipper Schwenn added.

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