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Parliamentary questions
PDF 27kWORD 28k
18 August 2011
Answer given by Mr Kallas on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-006747/2011

Measures to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from shipping may entail additional costs to some parts of industry, but these costs would, partially, be offset by the expected savings achieved through implementing these measures.

Indeed, International Maritime Organisation (IMO) figures(1) and other studies show that many GHG reduction measures will bring savings through reduced fuel costs. A large range of technical and operational solutions to reduce emissions are available today and are provided by EU companies at competitive prices.

To prepare a legislative proposal, and in assessing various policy options, the Commission will certainly study in detail the impacts on the sector and the economy and environment at large via an Impact Assessment, commissioned studies, stakeholder consultations (European Climate Change Programme — ECCP) and strategic discussions with industry leaders in the Commissioners High Level Panel (HLP).

The Commission prefers a global solution to reducing GHG emissions from shipping, and has been working since many years in the IMO to help develop such a measure. The Commission is pleased with the adoption of the Energy Efficiency design Index by the IMO in July 2011. This is a first binding, global technical measure to limit emissions from new ships. However, in view of expected growth in globla trade, ships' emissions are likley to increase faster than expected gains in efficiency in maritime transport, so additional measures are necessary to stabilise and reduce emissions from the sector.

As stated in the Roadmap for moving to a competitive low carbon economy in 2050(2), all sectors should contribute to emissions reductions. Moreover, the 40 % reduction target in EU shipping emissions by 2050, a target set by the Transport White Paper(3), intensifies the need for more concrete action in the sector.

Finally, the EU's climate and energy legislative framework — adopted by the European Parliament and the Council(4) – invites the Commission to assess how maritime emissions could be included in the EU's own emission reduction commitments, should no international agreement to reduce emissions from this sector be concluded by the end of 2011 and that the EU measure should enter into force by 2013.

(1)International Maritime Organisation (2009) — Second Greenhouse Gas Emissions Study.
(2)COM(2011)112 final — A Roadmap for moving to a competitive low carbon economy in 2050.
(3)COM(2011)114 final — WHITE PAPER — Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area — Towards a competitive and resource efficient transport system.
(4)Directive 2009/29/EC, 23 April 2009, OJ L 140, 5 June 2009, amending Directive 2003/87/EC, so as to improve and extend the GHG emission allowance trading scheme of the Community.

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