Member states of the European Union (EU) have given their approval to revise the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), which seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The approval is based on a provisional deal that was reached by the EU Parliament and Council around two weeks previously, which related to the revision of the EU ETS for the period after 2020.

The revision is intended to help the EU achieve a significant part of its commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030 that was originally made under the Paris Agreement.

“We think it is the right decision that the EU will leave regulation of shipping’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to the International Maritime Organisation.”

Welcoming the latest approval European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) secretary general Martin Dorsman said: “European shipowners have a strong interest to decarbonise the industry and we think it is the right decision that the EU will leave regulation of shipping’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to the International Maritime Organisation.

“The IMO is currently busy drawing up its strategy for reducing CO2 emissions from the international shipping.

“IMO is the organisation to regulate our global industry.”

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IMO aims to adopt an initial strategy for comprehensive emission reductions from ships next year, followed by the implementation of a final plan in 2023.

The shipping industry previously proposed not to increase the sector’s total CO2 emissions above 2008 levels during IMO’s latest intersessional meeting held last month.

The proposal is expected to recognise 2008 as the year of peak emissions from shipping operations and will help IMO to agree upon reduction percentages per tonne-kilometre, as well as finalise a reduction percentage to set a total emissions target from the sector by 2050.