The Parliament and Council of the European Union (EU) have agreed on a provisional deal to revise the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) for the period after 2020.

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EU achieve a significant part of its commitment to cutting greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030, which was originally made under the Paris Agreement.

All types of transport are expected to be affected by the proposed amendments, including shipping.

The EU Parliament and Council have also agreed that Europe should take action regarding shipping emissions from 2023, should the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) fail to provide effective global measures for the sector.

“The EU is sending a strong signal to the IMO that it needs to deliver, and that ‘action’ means much more than just talking.”

Welcoming the move, Transport & Environment (T&E) said that Europe cannot indefinitely outsource its climate responsibility to the IMO when the UN organisation has repeatedly failed to deliver the required level of ambition to mitigate emissions from shipping operations.

T&E shipping and aviation officer Faig Abbasov said: “The EU is sending a strong signal to the IMO that it needs to deliver, and that ‘action’ means much more than just talking.

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“If the IMO fails, then Europe has a responsibility to its citizens to ensure that all sectors contribute to global climate action, and that shipping is not exempt.”

Various countries and big industry groups strongly opposed the introduction of urgent action to reduce ship greenhouse gas emissions before 2023 at an IMO meeting held last month, noted T&E.

According to T&E, the industry stakeholders even blocked the idea of beginning to discuss possible immediate emission reduction measures, including operational speed reduction for ships and others.