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Shipowners and NGO Call for Fuel Suppliers to be added to FuelEU

amendments to FuelEU EU shipowners and T&E
Shipowners and activists joined in their call to add responsibilities for fuel suppliers in the FuelEU regulations (file photo)

Published May 31, 2022 4:21 PM by The Maritime Executive

As the European Union pushes forward with its FuelEU maritime regulation proposal with fees and caps on carbon emissions, shipowners are renewing their calls for amendments seeking to bring fuel suppliers into the regulation with more responsibilities and further effort to support the conversion to alternative fuels. In an unlikely pairing, the European Community of Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA), which represents 19 national shipowners’ associations, and climate activist group Transport & Environment (T&E) are jointly calling on the European Parliament to make amendments saying the proposal still falls short of what is needed.

“The current proposal by the Commission risks doing more damage than good,” said Faig Abbasov, T&E’s shipping program Director in the joint statement with the ECSA. The NGO joins with the shipowners in calling for further amendments to “align FuelEU's regulatory targets with the Paris Agreement, EU Climate Law, and other international commitments and incorporate into the law incentives that promote sustainable and scalable fuels like green hydrogen.” 

While acknowledging that shipping has a role to play in ambitious climate action in Europe, the groups express their support for the objectives and efforts of the EU. However, they write that the commission’s proposals as they stand now fall short and fail to address the responsibilities of other stakeholders. 

“European shipowners are ready to contribute their fair share in addressing the climate crisis at the EU level as well, said Sotiris Raptis, ECSA’s Secretary-General announcing their new appeal to the parliament as it prepares the final version of the regulations. “But we need all hands on deck. The current FuelEU proposal does not address the responsibilities of the fuel suppliers and how cleaner and safe fuels will become available in Europe.” 

ECSA and T&E are calling for the introduction of “robust requirements on member states under the FuelEU Maritime to ensure that fuel suppliers in European ports deliver compliant fuels to ships in sufficient quantities in order to meet the regulatory objectives.” They write that they believe the responsibilities of the fuel suppliers are essential to achieving the ambitious regulatory targets.

They are also asking the regulators to earmark the revenues generated under the EU ETS and the FuelEU Maritime to facilitate the energy transition and contribute to bridging the price differential between conventional fuels and sustainable, and scalable alternatives. Furthermore, they say a dedicated fund should be established under the EU ETS to leverage the revenues so that sustainable fuels become commercially available. They also call for a “high multiplier” for the use of sustainable and scalable marine fuels under the FuelEU Maritime Regulation to make them cost-competitive versus alternatives.

The two organizations warn that if the FuelEU proposal is to achieve its goals it must be widened to follow the principles of the Paris Agreement and EU Climate Law. Otherwise, they warn it has the potential to do more harm than good failing short of its goals.