The European Commission runs the risk of not having the European Parliament's backing to measure CO2 emissions from large vessels as a "first step" towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions in maritime transport. The proposal dates back to last June and would implement a mechanism that would oblige large boats stopping over in the EU to declare their CO2 emissions (see Europolitics 4676). It is a far cry from an emissions trading system, "a maritime ETS," which the Commission has mentioned several times over the last few years (it had been overshadowed by the 'aviation in ETS' saga). Environmental NGOs have directly spoken to Parliament about taking "very small steps" until the effects are proven. They were also quick to urge MEPs to reinforce the proposal.

Greek rapporteur Theodoros Skylakakis (ALDE) intends to do just that. Without going as far as to propose measures to reduce emissions, his draft report sets out to at least increase the proposal's scope of application. The draft report starts off by proposing that CO2 emissions as well as nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions should be included. According to forecasts, NOx emissions linked with international maritime transport in European waters are projected to increase or be equal to emissions from land-based sources from 2020 onwards, making it difficult to turn a blind eye to them. The rapporteur would also like to considerably increase the number of boats covered by reporting requirements: he proposes to include ships that have a gross tonnage (GT) - a measure...

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