* International talks have failed to deliver a plan
* EU plan a step towards a global deal
* Stops short of inclusion of ships in EU carbon market
By Barbara Lewis
BRUSSELS, June 28 Owners of large ships using EU
ports will have to measure and report annual carbon dioxide
(CO2) emissions from January 2018 under proposals the European
Commission published on Friday.
The plans stop short of including shipping emissions in the
EU carbon market, but the Commission says they can still have an
impact and are part of its work towards global emissions
"The EU monitoring system will bring environmental and
economic gains for the shipping sector by increasing
transparency about emissions and creating an incentive for
ship-owners to cut them," Connie Hedegaard, EU Commissioner for
Climate Action, said in a statement.
The proposals are subject to months of debate and will need
approval from EU member states and the European Parliament
before they can become law.
They would create an EU-wide legal framework for collecting
and publishing verified annual data on CO2 emissions from all
large ships (defined as more than 5,000 gross tons) that use EU
ports, irrespective of where the ships are registered.
Owners - such as Denmark's A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S
, the group behind the world's biggest container
shipping operator - will also be required to provide other
information, such as data to determine the ships' energy
The Commission said the EU-wide monitoring system should cut
CO2 emissions from the journeys covered by up to 2 percent and
could also help to reduce costs to owners.
Debate on how to handle shipping emissions, which the
Commission estimates account for 3 percent of global greenhouse
gas emissions and 4 percent of EU greenhouse gas emissions, has
rumbled on for years with little progress.
Without action, shipping emissions are expected to more than
double by 2050 as transport demand increases.
Preliminary discussions between EU member states and the
shipping industry addressed the option of including emissions in
the European Union's Emissions Trading Scheme.
But there is little chance of that happening in the short
term, given the international outcry and threats of a trade war
that followed an earlier decision to expand the carbon trading
scheme to include all flights to and from EU airports.
As a result, the European Union agreed to freeze the charge
on intercontinental flights for a year to give the U.N.
International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) a chance to
come up with an alternative.
Talks are already under way at the International Maritime
Organisation on a global deal for shipping emissions. The
European Commission says its measures on both shipping and
airlines are only being introduced pending a worldwide agreement
and the EU shipping rules would be modified if necessary to
conform to any global standards, if agreed.
($1 = 0.7691 euros)
(Additional reporting by Susanna Twidale in London; Editing by
Rex Merrifield and David Holmes)