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Europe to monitor shipping emissions starting 2013

The European Union will start measuring and monitoring emissions from shipping emissions starting next year, in an effort to slash the sector’s impact on climate change.

European Commission vice president Siim Kallas and Climate Action commissioner Connie Hedegaard have issued a joint statement calling for urgent action to curb greenhouse gas emissions from shipping.

According to the joint statement, shipping is a global industry that calls for global solutions to address its environmental footprint. It’s estimated that global emissions from the shipping sector currently amount to 900 million tons per year and this is expected to double by 2050, if no urgent actions are taken.

However, to date, there is no international regulation of emissions from ships. While the International Maritime Organization had implemented a set of energy efficiency measures for vessels in 2011, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change did not agree that this is an effective approach to regulate emissions.

“At E.U. level, we consider several options, including market-based mechanisms. A simple, robust and globally-feasible approach towards setting a system for monitoring, reporting and verification of emissions based on fuel consumption is the necessary starting point,” said the commissioners.

This move by the E.U. “will help make progress at global level and feed into the I.M.O. process. It's therefore our joint intention to pursue such a monitoring, reporting and verification system in early 2013,” stressed the officials.

In addition, the government will continue to work with stakeholders to come up with measures that will serve well to the emissions reduction goals of the region for its ships.

“The shipping industry itself is best placed to take the lead in delivering fast and effective greenhouse gas emission reductions – thereby cutting cost and making the sector fit for the future. The Commission is ready to play its part, in the E.U. and at I.M.O. level,” said Mr. Kallas and Ms. Hedegaard in the statement. – EcoSeed Staff



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