European Council Comes On Agreement Over ETS Schemes


Environment ministers in the European Council have agreed to include maritime shipping emissions within the scope of the EU emissions trading system says Splash 246.

  • The Fit for 55 packages will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990.
  • The council agreed to phase in shipping until 2026.


Accepting the European Commission proposal on the gradual introduction of obligations for shipping companies to surrender allowances for all emissions on trips within the EU. Also, 50% on voyages between EU and non-EU ports for vessels with a gross tonnage of over 5,000. The agreement also consisted of redistribution of 3.5% of the ceiling auctioned.


These laws will be obliged by the European Parliament. MEPs want to cover 100% of emissions from intra-European routes as of 2024 and 50% of emissions from extra-European routes. By 2027, emissions from all trips should be covered 100% with possible derogations for non-EU countries. The coverage in these places could be reduced to 50% subject to certain conditions. Europe’s clean transport campaigner, Transport & Environment, although welcoming the move, warned that “unnecessary exemptions” would undermine the effectiveness of the carbon market and “create an unlevel playing field in the market”.


“The Environment Council has squandered the chance to put the sensible inclusion of shipping into the EU ETS on the table for trialogue negotiations with the Commission and Parliament,” argued the shipping policy officer at Carbon Market Watch. “The European Parliament position on ETS is very problematic, but at least when it comes to shipping, it is miles ahead of the unambitious and time-wasting Council general approach.”

Small Cargo Ships

T&E noted that while member states agreed to start monitoring methane and nitrous oxides from ships, these would not be automatically included in the carbon market yet. However, it hailed the decision to monitor emissions of smaller cargo ships. It said that the upcoming negotiations with the European Parliament will be an opportunity to extend this coverage. These are between 400 and 5,000 gross tonnages. 

The next step is for the parliament, the council and the commission to have a final deal. This has to be on the shipping ETS that is acceptable to all the parties. 

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Source: Splash 247


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