Brussels - In respect of greenhouse gas emissions, shipping is the most environmentally-friendly mode of transport. At present, around 50,000 merchant ships transport 90 percent of global goods and make maritime transport indispensable for the world economy. However, if no action is taken, it is estimated that emissions from ships will increase by 150-200 percent by 2050 and will be responsible for 15 percent of total CO2 emissions.
Maritime transport causes about four percent of global man-made CO2 emissions which makes its carbon footprint approximately as high as Germany's. The current policy actions dealing with air emissions relate mainly to the quality of fuel used and to the technological options available. There is no regulation of international maritime transport emissions yet, but this is currently under discussion in the International Maritime Organization and at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Furthermore, the inclusion of the maritime transport sector within the EU Emission Trading Scheme is on the EU strategy to address GHGs.
But: Flag States can adopt laws and regulations for the prevention, reduction and control of pollution and shall exercise full jurisdiction and control in administrative, technical and social matters over vessels flying their flag. This provision would empower the EU to impose environmental requirements on ships flying EU Member States’ flags. However, the majority of vessels worldwide currently fly “convenience” non-EU flags. And according to UNCLOS Art. 227, it is stated that “States shall not discriminate in form or in fact against vessels of any other State”.
The full report can be downloaded under ec.europa.eu Quelle: Joint Research Centre (JRC), European Commission