A shipping company climbs in the ranking of the best climate polluters in Europe

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Originally posted on Transport & Environment.
By Eoin Bannon

Europe’s largest marine polluter has weathered the pandemic unhurt, according to official EU emissions data. The Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) reached 6th place in the ranking of EU carbon emitters if maritime transport was part of the bloc’s emissions trading system. ¹ Transport & Environment (T&E), who analyzed the data², said the EU must clean up the industry by making shippers pay for all their pollution and start using green fuels on European roads.

Jacob Armstrong, Shipping Manager at T&E said:

“For the third year in a row, the biggest maritime emitter has climbed into the top 10 of the biggest polluters in Europe. It is emblematic of an industry that does not pay a penny for its pollution. The fact that a ship operator overtakes coal-fired power plants shows that the status quo is not working. We need a European carbon market that makes maritime transport pay for all its pollution. “

The vast majority of pollution from the five largest shipping companies, ranging from 65% to 79%, was from journeys between European and non-European ports. Later this month, the European Commission will announce whether companies should start buying pollution permits and using green fuels for these extra-European routes, which account for the bulk of the climate impact of European shipping.

Jacob Armstrong said:

“Nothing less than a carbon market covering extra-European travel allows the biggest shipping companies to get by and leaves small operators who mainly sail in Europe to foot the bill. It would also lead to the loss of ETS revenues which could be reinvested in greening the sector.

On July 14, the Commission is expected to publish proposals to include European maritime transport in the European Carbon Market (ETS) and to establish the first global mandate on sustainable fuels for ships (Fuel EU Maritime Regulation).

¹ In 2020, MSC emitted 10.9 Mt of CO2 on all trips departing or arriving in European ports, a slight decrease (3%) compared to 2019. However, this total should increase as individual vessels report their overdue emissions.

² T&E analyzed the 5th version of the MRV 2020 database accessible here: https://mrv.emsa.europa.eu/#public/emission-report

See the T&E methodology here: https://www.transportenvironment.org/sites/te/files/MRV_methodology_PR_2021.pdf

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