The Permanent Representatives Committee confirmed an agreement with the European Parliament on new EU-wide rules for monitoring, reporting and verification of CO2 emissions from ships. The agreement was reached in an informal trilogue on 18 November.
International maritime shipping is the only means of transportation not included in the EU's commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Monitoring of CO2 emissions from ships is the first step of a staged approach to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in this sector as well. The new regulation will improve information about CO2 emissions relating to the consumption of fuels, transport work and energy efficiency of ships, which make it possible to analyse emission trends and assess ships' performances.
Gian Luca Galletti, Italian Minister for the Environment: 'The agreement reached between the Parliament and the Council has a great political value as well as technical: with the new regulation establishing a mechanism for monitoring, reporting and verification of maritime emissions, Europe immediately gives a follow-up with a concrete decision to the commitments of the Climate-Energy Framework 2030. This agreement enables us to play an influential role in the negotiations within the International Maritime Organisation, with a view to finding ambitious solutions that combine environment protection with development.
'New rules would cover CO2 emissions from ships above 5000 gross tons. Warships, naval auxiliaries, fish catching or processing ships, wooden ships of a primitive build, ships not propelled mechanical means and government ships used for non-commercial purposes would be excluded from these measures.
From 1 January 2018, ship-owners would be obliged to monitor emissions for each ship on a pervoyage and an annual basis. There are also provisions on monitoring and reporting, verification and accreditation, and compliance and publication of information as well as international cooperation.
The European Commission would have to publish an annual report on emissions from maritime transport to inform the public and to allow for an assessment of the emissions and the energy efficiency of maritime transport per size, type of ships, activity, etc. It would also have to assess biennially the maritime sector's overall impact on the global climate, including through non-CO2-related emissions or effects.
The European Commission would have to review this regulation in the event that an international agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emission from maritime transport is reached, in order to align it with that international agreement. The regulation, once formally adopted, is to enter into force on 1 July 2015.
The text is still to be examined by the European Parliament's Environment Committee on 3 December 2014. After approval by the Committee, the Council is expected to reach a political agreement at the Environment Council meeting on 17 December, followed, after legal- linguistic revision, by the formal adoption of its common position, which should be transmitted to the European Parliament. It would be then for the Parliament to vote on the agreed text at one of its plenary meetings. The procedure could be completed in spring 2015.