EU to take climate action on planes and ships


The European Union has ruled that planes and ships should dramatically cut their carbon dioxide emissions within the next ten years.

The proposals mean that the shipping industry should lower their emissions by 20 per cent, compared to their 2005 levels, by 2020. Meanwhile the aviation industry must lower its 2005 emission levels by 10 per cent within the same time frame.

The EU revealed their plans at the United Nations’ Climate Change Talks in Bangkok last week, where climate negotiators from up to 190 nations met to discuss the climate change deal that will replace the Kyoto Protocol in 2013. Aviation and shipping are not covered by Kyoto, the global climate change treaty agreed in 1997.

An EU diplomat involved with the proposal said: “We are concerned about the slow international negotiations and are keen to shift gear. This is a concrete measure from the EU side in order to contribute to this step-up.”

The proposal was put forward by Sweden, which currently holds the EU’s rotating presidency, and is based on a September report by the European Commission. They estimated that the two sectors could be generating as much as €25million a year by 2020, if their emissions were capped at 30 per cent below the 2005 levels.

The proposals have already received support from Britain, Ireland, France, the Netherlands and most of the eastern European countries. But seafaring nations like Malta, Cyprus and Spain, are thought to favour a more “realistic” reduction target, as do countries with big airlines such as France, Finland and Italy.

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