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EU countries disagree on the Commission's CO2 initiative

The EU countries are apparently in serious disagreement internally about the EU-Commission's initiative for the first step toward a global CO2 agreement for shipping.

Photo: EU

According to the Danish Shipowners' Association's newsletter Kompas, there is a great deal of disagreement among the EU member states about the EU-Commission's initiative to register the CO2 emissions of the commercial fleet, the so-called MRV proposal.

The EU-Commission presented its initiative just prior to the summer holidays, and the initiative marks the first step toward a global agreement for shipping, expected to come into effect from 2018. On the one hand, Several countries, including Greece, want a lighter system that, among other things, allows the carriers to remain anonymous. On the other hand, large parts of the European Parliament support a more comprehensive amendment.

The EU's Commissioner for Climate Action, Connie Hedegaard, has voiced her full support for the original proposal, which she believes is based on a system that already works. The system is based on a variety of factors, including Danish carriers' reporting of their CO2 emissions. The purpose of the EU proposal is to spread MRV to the rest of the world through the UN's maritime body, the IMO.

Clarification before the summer

"This proposal should be seen as a way to introduce global rules in the IMO. That's our exact aim with this proposal," said Connie Hedegaard at a debate in the European Parliament.

The Danish Shipowners' Association also supports the MRV system in the CO2 debate.

"The European Parliament ought to follow the constructive agenda set forth by the Commissioner for Climate Action. The proposal is simple, flexible, and focuses solely on CO2. MRV makes a lot of sense in terms of reducing CO2 emissions, but it's not a miracle cure for other ship emissions," says Simon C. Bergulf, head of the Danish Shipowners' Association's office in Brussels.

The shipowners' association believes that it is crucial to clarify matters regarding the MRV proposal before the European Parliament holds its elections next summer.

"We hope that member states as well as EU Parliamentarians can reach a speedy and constructive decision before the end of the current Parliament. The shipping companies should have a degree of legal certainty in order to prepare before the reporting begins in 2018," says Maria Bruun Skipper, chief consultant at the Danish Shipowners' Association.

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