Greece at the forefront of European efforts to gradually decarbonize the shipping industry


The Minister for Maritime Affairs and Insular Policy, Mr. Giannis Plakiotakis, acknowledging the need for contribution of all economic sectors, including shipping, to the ambitious goals of the European Green Deal and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, addressed a letter to the European Commission, proposing a realistic alternative approach, in relation to the planned inclusion of shipping into the European Emissions Trading System (EU ETS).

Expressing the concerns of the greek and international shipping industry regarding the intention of the European Commission to include shipping in the revision of the EU ETS, Minister Plakiotakis proposes the creation of a dedicated EU Fund, under the ETS, that will ensure the stability in carbon pricing, while reducing business uncertainty and the economic and administrative burden for the thousands of small and medium-sized enterprises that constitute the backbone of European shipping.

The proposal is based on the "polluter pays" principle, as it lays down that the commercial operator of the ship who determines, through their decisions, the ship's energy efficiency, should pay the cost of greenhouse gas emissions. This Fund will also finance Research Development and Deployment (R&DD) of low and zero emission technologies and fuels, potentially rendering the use of environmentally friendly fuels more attractive.

Considering that the proposed approach can also be included in a globally accepted measure within the International Maritime Organization, the Minister calls on the European Commission to consider the Greek proposal in a positive way during the elaboration of the legislative draft proposal, expected to be published next July.

The Greek initiative is supported by important actors of the european and international shipping industry and environmental NGOs and brings our country at the forefront of international and european efforts for the gradual decarbonization of the shipping industry.

On this occasion, Mr Giannis Plakiotakis stated:

"Post Brexit, the Greek-owned fleet accounts for 58% of the European tonnage capacity. With the responsibility of a leading maritime nation in Europe and worldwide to submit proposals that will safely lead shipping to the next day, with the necessary predictability and absolute respect for European environmental goals, we proposed to the European Commission to examine -instead of including shipping into the EU ETS which is designed for other economic activities- the establishment of a specific EU Shipping Fund that will be steadily financed by the shipping industry, depending on the emissions of each ship.

Our proposal ensures the achievement of our common environmental objectives in the EU, the financing of the required, high-scale, research for the gradual decarbonisation of shipping from fossil fuels, without jeopardizing the viability of the thousands of small and medium-sized enterprises that constitute the backbone of European shipping".

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