Expansion of the Emissions Trading System in the European Union

The European Union (EU) has a major goal - to make Europe climate neutral by 2050. In order to achieve this, the EU Commission has created a comprehensive plan of measures called the "Green Deal". European transport modes - and thus shipping, are also included in this plan. According to the Green Deal, transport-related emissions are to be reduced by 90 percent by 2050. European maritime transport causes about 13 percent of the total greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector.

Through various measures initiated by the EU and the International Maritime Organization, the industry has already been working for years to reduce the resulting emissions. In order to further reduce CO2 emissions, the EU has decided to extend the European Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) to maritime transport in 2024. So far, this has been an instrument for air traffic in Europe.

From 2024, operators of large ships arriving at EU ports will gradually have to buy emission allowances for greenhouse gas emissions. Accordingly, all voyages between EU ports and half of the route between an EU port and a third-country port will be subject to the Emissions Trading System (ETS). The emissions trading obligation will be introduced in stages. In 2024, ship operators will have to buy pollution allowances for 40 percent of their emissions volume. In 2025, this will then rise to 70 percent, and from 2026, all emissions will be subject to a charge. Among others, the majority of the revenue from the emission allowances is to be used to develop low-emission propulsion solutions in the shipping industry. Ocean carriers are currently preparing for implementation and have already announced, in some cases, that they will pass on costs to the industry.

If you are generally interested in the topic of sustainability in sea freight, DACHSER also offers Sustainable Maritime Fuel (SMF).

In case you have any questions on this topic or on the EU ETS, please get in touch with your contact person at the DACHSER branch responsible for you.

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