Additional greenhouse gases to be covered / 20 million allowances for innovation / Phasing-in from 2024, full scope 2026 / 20 million tonnes reduction of CO2 more than in the Commission proposal

“The European Parliament, the Council of Ministers represented by the Czech Presidency and the European Commission agreed preliminarily on the conditions on how to include maritime emissions in the EU ETS during the so-called trilogue late Tuesday evening. This agreement is called ‘historic’ by some because for more than ten years the European Parliament, many experts, in particular from the environmental field, many member states and the Commission pushed for this inclusion.

Now it is close to a formal agreement. As proposed by the Commission, not only trips inside the EU but also trips from EU port to third countries and for third countries to EU port (50%) will be included.

“I am very happy that we agreed on a very important part of the biggest environmental and climate law that has ever been dealt with by the European institutions, the ETS. It is very important to include ships in the EU ETS because that will encourage ship owners and operators to use the best available technology and this will not only help the climate but also improve air pollution in cities close to rivers and the coast. The bunker fuels currently mainly used by ships are a big problem for climate and environment. Compared to the Commission proposal, we agreed on substantial improvements. First, we not only include CO2 in the ETS but also methane and N2O. This is very important because some alternatives to bunker fuels also create problems for the climate if not managed properly. We increased the scope by including offshore vessels bigger than 5000 gross tonnage. These improvements alongside others bring a net benefit for the climate of 20 million tonnes of CO2. They will also increase the revenues which is why we were successful with earmarking 20 million allowances for specific projects in the shipping sector in the Innovation Fund/Climate Investment Fund. Also we included a text, encouraging Member States to use national revenues to protect marine biodiversity. These are big achievements by the Parliament which are crucial for the environmental integrity of the whole scheme,” explained Peter Liese, environment spokesperson for the largest group in the European Parliament (EPP, Christian Democrats) and rapporteur on the revision of the European Emissions Trading System.
On the phasing in, the three institutions agreed preliminary on a compromise. Shipping companies have to surrender allowances that cover 40% of their emissions in 2024, 70% in 2025 and 100% in 2026.

The agreement is important for the environment and for air quality as well as for the innovation in the sector. But it is also an important step to enable us to agree on the other very difficult point of the negotiations, for example free allowances for the industry, the innovation fund, the modernisation fund and the inclusion of heating and road transport in the scheme. After tonight’s agreement, I am still not sure if we can make it under the Czech presidency but I am a bit more optimistic.”, said Peter Liese.