Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Clean Transport

Negligible Risk of Ships Evading EU Carbon Market — Study

EU regulators have little to fear from shipping companies evading the bloc’s carbon market if it is applied to long-distance voyages, a new study shows.

Originally published on Transport & Environment.
By Sam Hargreaves

EU regulators have little to fear from shipping companies evading the bloc’s carbon market if it is applied to long-distance voyages, a new study shows. The shipping industry has warned that operators would make evasive port calls in neighboring non-EU countries to avoid buying pollution permits for the whole voyage. But, at most, 7% of ships calling at EU ports would benefit from avoidance at today’s carbon price, according to an analysis by Transport & Environment (T&E).

The findings come as EU regulators prepare a proposal to include shipping in the emissions trading system (ETS) and weigh up the benefits of covering all emissions (known as “full scope”) or simply trade within the EU.¹ A ship from Houston, for example, could stop at Morocco before it reaches Spain and then only buy pollution permits for the short, final leg of the voyage. Yet as T&E’s study of tens of thousands of port combinations shows, the savings from evading a full-scope ETS would be just 7%, due to extra costs including fuel and port charges. With an ETS covering half the long-distance voyage (“semi-full scope”), the benefits of evasion are non-existent, the study finds.

Sofie Defour, shipping officer at T&E, said:

“The study demonstrates that horror stories of massive carbon leakage if ships were included in a carbon market are false. The EU has little to fear from shipowners evading its ports to make non-existent savings. It’s high time it made the sector start paying for its pollution.”

Ship-owners would face minimal costs in a “full-scope” ETS covering all emissions on voyages to and from the EU. Pollution permits for transporting a standard container from Spain to Singapore would be less than 2% of the overall transport cost, dropping to less than 1% if the “semi-full scope” would be included. T&E said the EU should defy industry scaremongers and cover long-distance shipping emissions in its carbon market and not just pollution on voyages within Europe.

Sofie Defour said: “Limiting the EU’s carbon market to maritime emissions between European ports lets shipping off the hook for a large share of its pollution. It would also forfeit ETS revenues that could be reinvested in greening the sector.”

In 2019, the European Commission committed in its European Green Deal to extend the ETS to the maritime sector while the European Parliament has proposed to introduce a maritime ETS by 1 January 2022 as part of its revision of the EU MRV regulation.

¹ Intra-EU emissions make up only 40% of the EU shipping emissions, while the remaining 60% are due to long-distance shipping calling at EU ports. Both intra-EU and long-distance shipping are already covered by the monitoring and reporting obligations under the EU MRV Regulation.

Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
Written By

We publish a number of guest posts from experts in a large variety of fields. This is our contributor account for those special people, organizations, agencies, and companies.


#1 most loved electric vehicle, solar energy, and battery news & analysis site in the world.


Support our work today!


Power CleanTechnica: $3/Month

Tesla News Solar News EV News Data Reports


EV Sales Charts, Graphs, & Stats


Our Electric Car Driver Report

30 Electric Car Benefits

Tesla Model 3 Video

Renewable Energy 101 In Depth

solar power facts

Tesla News

EV Reviews

Home Efficiency

You May Also Like


Originally published on By Madeline Tyson President Biden’s infrastructure plan (The American Jobs Plan) aligns recovery stimulus and climate action. This is smart: experts conclude that the green stimulus delivers high returns...


Germany saw plugin electric vehicle market share reach 22.1% in April 2021, with full battery electrics at 10.3%, their second highest ever share. The...


The UK saw plugin electric vehicle market share at 13.25% in April 2021, with full electrics at a healthy 6.5% despite recent cuts in...


The first Ford Mustang Mach-E buyer in Norway just received his vehicle today. This news helps answer a question I asked earlier today. I...

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.