The Royal Belgian Shipowners’ Association supports Ocean Fund proposal

3rd February 2022

Shipping is prepared to play its part in achieving the ambitious goals laid out in the European Green Deal. To do so, it needs effective policy instruments in place to simultaneously stimulate research and investments in alternative fuels and encourage emission reduction measures.

To this end, the RBSA fully supports the Ocean Fund proposal tabled by MEP Peter Liese, rapporteur on the EU ETS in the European Parliament. Collected through the EU ETS and financed by the industry itself, the fund will go back to the maritime industry to support its decarbonisation process.

The future of shipping lays in the hands of all stakeholders,” said Wilfried Lemmens, RBSA’s Managing Director. “There is no doubt that achieving the goals of the EU ETS is the shared responsibility of both shipowners and charterers.”

Regarding the proposal by some to extend the EU ETS to small vessels, the RBSA agrees that the fight against climate change is everyone’s responsibility. However, it is more efficient to start with the larger vessels for a number of reasons:

The scope of maritime EU ETS applies to larger ships above 5,000 GT because these are already functioning with the EU MRV system – which is the basis to calculate emissions,” explained Mr Lemmens.

“To introduce other vessels into the EU ETS will first require an introduction to the MRV, this might risk complicating or even delaying the process. Furthermore, small vessels are instrumental in creating the road-to-sea modal shift as an effective way to reduce carbon emissions in Europe. We need further and careful studies before including these vessels to make sure the shift will not be reversed,” he continued.

Click here to download the RBSA’s statement on the proposed Ocean Fund.