Reducing GHG emissions

header tackling air emissions

The European Green Deal is the roadmap for the European Union to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. To support it, a package of new and revised legislation, known as Fit for 55, sets out how the EU intends to reduce its net greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by at least 55% by 2030. Included in this legislative package is the maritime transport sector.

Despite being one of the most energy-efficient modes of transport, maritime transport constitutes an important source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In 2018, international shipping emissions represented 1 076 million tonnes of CO2, and were responsible for around 2.9% of global emissions caused by human activities. Projections show that these emissions could increase by up to 130% (of 2008 emissions) by 2050.

At EU level, maritime transport represents 3 to 4% of the EU’s total CO2 emissions, or over 124 million tonnes of CO2 in 2021.

The Fit for 55 package contains several measures to address the climate impact of maritime transport. Among them are: changes to the MRV Regulation for maritime transport that has operated in the European Union since 2018; the extension of the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) to maritime transport; measures to boost the take-up of alternative and renewable fuels (Fuel EU Maritime) by the maritime transport sector, as well as port infrastructures and Onshore power supply.

This section contains relevant information on the new measures, some of which will start to be implemented from 1 January 2024 under a phase-in approach.