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Monday, December 16, 2019 

Shipowner organisation BIMCO has welcomed the recognition of the European Commission (EC) that climate change is a global issue that requires mobilisation of partners internationally.

In The European Green Deal, published on 11 December by the EC, it is highlighted in the introduction that “the environmental ambitions of the Green Deal will not be achieved by Europe acting alone”. BIMCO says it fully agrees with this, especially when it comes to climate actions for international shipping.

The European Green Deal is an important policy document outlining many elements which may contribute to decarbonisation of society. It includes initiatives concerning all sectors of society, including international shipping.

Deputy Secretary-General Lars Robert Pedersen said: "While BIMCO recognise the intentions of the EC to coordinate actions at the global level at the International Maritime Organization (IMO), BIMCO is however concerned by the intent to include international shipping in the European Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). If a market-based measure were to be considered for international shipping, it should be at the global level at IMO, and other more appropriate options than ETS should be considered – such as a levy on carbon emissions. Shipping’s decarbonisation will require new low- and zero-carbon fuels."

BIMCO applauds the ambition of Europe to ramp up production of sustainable alternative transport fuel and accelerate the deployment of zero- and low-emission ships, but Pedersen continued: "Taxation of fossil based marine fuels is listed in the document as an area which needs to be looked at. BIMCO notes that there are very practical reasons for not taxing such fuels, as ships would simply bunker outside the EU. We also note that taxation of shipping and its services is a delicate matter which has been dealt with for decades by states all over the world bilaterally, including the EU member states, using the OECD model convention."

BIMCO says it looks forward to continuing the already constructive work to decarbonise international shipping at the IMO with the European Commission, the EU member states and all the other member states.

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