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Only a Well-Designed Maritime EU ETS with Dedicated Funding will Accelerate Greening of the Shipping Sector

21st November 2022
Greening European ports: Only a well-designed maritime EU Emission Trading System (ETS)with dedicated funding will accelerate the greening of the shipping sector.
Greening European ports: Only a well-designed maritime EU Emission Trading System (ETS)with dedicated funding will accelerate the greening of the shipping sector. Credit: ESPOSecretariat-facebook

The European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) recognises the maritime EU Emission Trading System (EU-ETS) can be a powerful mechanism to accelerate the green transition of the sector as European ports continue to support the extension of the ETS to the maritime sector.

However, this mechanism will only deliver as intended if the measure is well-designed. This means that:

- All efforts must be made to avoid carbon and business leakage to neighbouring ports

- The ETS revenues of the shipping sector should be predominantly used to finance investments onboard ships and in ports to make this green transition happen.

Whereas the European Parliament and Council have made substantial steps forward in addressing the carbon and business leakage threat resulting from the scope of the proposal, further progress needs to be made to ensure that the maritime EU ETS revenues are being used to green the maritime sector and ports.

European ports call on EU Parliament and Council to ensure that the maritime EU ETS revenues are used for sector-specific investments to facilitate the deployment and use of sustainable alternative fuels, including the electrification of vessels and onshore power infrastructure in ports.

ESPO has co-signed a joint maritime industry statement supporting such investments and calling for earmarking of ETS revenues in the final text. The industry statement is attached here with this press release issued today.

In line with this statement, the final text on EU ETS must foresee dedicated maritime calls under the Innovation Fund, which would serve to accelerate the decarbonisation of the maritime sector.

For ESPO, the Innovation Fund should support the deployment of new technologies that effectively avoid generating greenhouse gas emissions, whilst bridging the funding gap for mature but not yet commercially viable projects. If only “first-of-a-kind projects” can be financed under the Innovation Fund, the added value of dedicated funding in the Innovation Fund remains very limited.

“The aim of the EU-ETS maritime is to make the greening of the shipping sector happen. This implies important investments in new technologies all over the network, both on the ship side and at shore side. The success of EU-ETS will largely depend on the use of the revenues. To be fit for 55, we need to fund for 55% emission reductions. In this phase of the negotiations, we should not get stuck on the name or the structure of the fund, but on the way the funds are used. In that respect, it is important to understand that financing only first of a kind-projects will not deliver the progress in greening we aim for." says Isabelle Ryckbost, ESPO Secretary General.

The final text on EU ETS should also encourage Member States to use the revenues generated from the auctioning of allowances to investments in maritime and ports.

European ports remain committed to help deliver a final text on EU ETS that makes the green transition of maritime possible.

Published in Ports & Shipping
Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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