Europe can be a global leader in shipping decarbonisation

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EURACTIV is an independent pan-European media network specialising in EU affairs. They were established in 1999 to spark and nourish policy debates among stakeholders, including government, business and civil society. Their work covers policy processes upstream of decisions, summarising the issues without taking sides.

The European Commission put forward a series of proposals to rein in shipping emissions as part of the “Fit for 55” legislative package. However, these proposals must be urgently strengthened if Europe is to achieve zero-emission shipping, write leaders from the Getting to Zero Coalition.

The Getting to Zero Coalition is a partnership between the Global Maritime Forum and the World Economic Forum, aimed at accelerating the rollout of deep-sea zero emission vessels powered by zero emission fuels. More than 150 companies have joined the coalition.*

Companies from across the maritime value chain are looking towards the EU as a global climate leader – and have high hopes that the EU Fit for 55 package, to be finalised over the next few months, will be able to drive shipping decarbonisation in Europe and globally.

However, when taking a closer look at the proposals to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from shipping, urgent improvements are needed to reach the EU’s ambition of at least 55% carbon reductions by 2030 and climate neutrality by 2050.

Shipping is an essential part of the global and European economy. Although maritime shipping has a lower level of GHG emissions intensity relative to other modes of transportation, its importance to every part of the global economy means that shipping accounts for around three percent of global emissions – of which 18% are caused by ships calling at EEA ports.

We and many other companies and organisations across the maritime value chain are committed to fully decarbonise international shipping by 2050 in line with the Paris Agreement.

But we cannot achieve zero-emission shipping without ambitious policy action, especially regulation that puts a sufficient price on carbon and supports investments in the use and production of zero-emission fuels as well as energy efficiency measures.

The good news is that we know what needs to happen and we are ready to work with policymakers to turn this vision into reality.

Global regulation through the International Maritime Organization (IMO) is the most effective solution to decarbonising a truly global sector.

*For the list of coalition members and to read more go to the Euractiv website here.

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