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EU Emission Trading System - impacts of including maritime transports

How can different policy designs affect the shipping industry in the European Economic Area and in particular the Swedish transport sector? What impact can it have on emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants?

This research project will analyse these aspects to form a better understanding of the impacts of different policy designs of an inclusion of maritime transports in the EU ETS.

Shipping is one of few sectors that are currently exempted from direct climate policy measures, and the sector’s emissions continue to increase. At a global level, the target of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% by 2050, compared to 2008. Both economic and administrative policy measures have been proposed, but only policies addressing energy efficiency has so far been implemented such as the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) which address newly built ships.

Read more in the pre-studie, "including maritime transport in the EU Emission Trading System - addressing design and impacts" Pdf, 1.6 MB, opens in new window.

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Shipping’s greenhouse gas emissions

In order to accelerate the mitigation of emissions from shipping, also regional initiatives have been put forward. To contribute to a climate-neutral EU in 2050 the European Commission has suggested to introduce shipping into the already established Emissions Trading System (EU ETS). Addressing shipping's greenhouse gas emissions is also important for complying with the Swedish climate targets on net zero emissions in 2045 and the target for the transport sector by 2030.

Policy brief

This policy brief identifies and discusses key design features for including shipping in the EU ETS and assesses modal split impacts and economic implications. The ambition has not been to provide recommendations but rather to provide an overview and brief assessment of the options that has been part of the discussion pending the final legislative proposal.

Read more about, Policy brief Shipping in the EU ETS Pdf, 1.9 MB, opens in new window.

a ship with goods

What are the implications of an inclusion of shipping in EU ETS?

The purpose of this project is to assess the impacts that an inclusion of maritime transports in EU ETS could have on the shipping industry in the European Economic Area (EEA) and the Swedish transport sector and the related GHG along with other air emissions. The emphasis of the analysis is on the environmental impact.

The project will contribute to increased knowledge and understanding about the potential effects of including maritime transports in EU ETS. The results will be valuable for actors in Sweden - as well as in other member states of EU - who’s working with or are affected by environmental regulations for shipping in the coming discussions on the design and implementation of shipping in EU ETS. But also, in more general terms, provide better support for decisions on policy instruments to reduce climate impact from the shipping sector.

Cooperation project

This research project is an outcome and development of the research team’s earlier collaboration in a pre-study on the topic. The project is led by IVL in collaboration with World Maritime University (WMU) and University of Gothenburg (UGOT). It is funded by the Swedish Transport Administration and will be proceed during the period July 2020 – October 2022.


IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, University of Gothenburg and World Maritime University

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