Labour MEP calls for shipping emission controls

Miriam Dalli insists Malta’s ports should not be put ‘at a disadvantage’

Labour MEP Miriam Dalli addressing a conference in Brussels
Labour MEP Miriam Dalli addressing a conference in Brussels

During a Brussels conference organized by the European Parliament and the Transport and Environment network, Labour MEP Miriam Dalli called for a global mechanism to control shipping emissions so that such mechanism would apply to all ports in the same manner.

While vehicle emissions have over the last decade become a major source of concern and action, the same is not necessarily happening to other transport sources like ships and airplanes.

Maritime and aviation emissions did not form part of the agreement reached by UN member countries at the Paris COP21, last December.

During the conference, which focused specifically on maritime transport, Dalli said emissions would more than double by 2050 if stakeholders do not act now.

“Unfortunately, even after having unanimously agreed on a new, global climate treaty in Paris, the issue of greenhouse gas emissions from the shipping sector remains a matter of dispute,” she said.

At the moment the amount of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) released by ships worldwide is about a billion tons a year.

Dalli said that the International Maritime Organization (IMO) needs to play a pivotal role by regulating emissions from international shipping.

“Acting globally would take away fear of losing the sector’s competitiveness or of losing the competitiveness of certain regions or ports, particularly European ports in the Mediterranean, including the Maltese ports, and the fear of de-flagging.”

She suggested that future policies need to factor in emission contributors also in view of the EU 2030 climate targets. “Our task should be to develop mitigation targets for the maritime sector compatible with staying below the 2 degrees objective. We need and we want a more effective and universal solution. That is, the establishment of a reduction target for shipping emission which at the end of the day results in having in place a reliable, global system.”

Dalli said there were commercial advantages in cutting emissions, which can be an additional advantage for all involved.

“There is considerable potential of reducing emissions in the shipping sector through fuel saving techniques whilst making our utmost to significantly reduce ship running costs. I do understand that not all solutions can be applied to all types of ships but I believe that if we discuss together then we can come up with solutions which can be of benefit to all”.

More in Europe

Get access to the real stories first with the digital edition