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EU May Bring Shipping Companies into Carbon Market; WWL Cuts CO2 21%

Shippers may be required to limit their carbon emissions, possibly through participation in carbon markets, under proposals being considered by the European Union.

The EU is crafting tools to limit emissions from maritime transport because the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has been unable to agree on such measures for over a decade, Bloomberg said.

“Whereas a global agreement in the context of IMO is still the preferable option, and we continue working for that, we have started really seriously preparing for tackling the sector,” Yvon Slingenberg, head of the emissions-trading unit at the European Commission, said at a climate seminar this week in Budapest. “It could be for bringing them into the emissions trading system; it could be also other options such as charges or levies.”

The commission says that global maritime transport accounts for almost three percent of carbon-dioxide discharges, and emissions from ships are expected to more than double by 2050, Bloomberg reports.

The European carbon trading system is the biggest cap-and-trade system in the world. It puts carbon limits on more than 11,000 utilities and manufacturers, with those that emit less being entitled to sell their surplus permits.

Next year the program will be extended to cover aviation. The market will cover chemical and aluminum companies from 2013.

In related news, Norwegian shipping company Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (WWL) announced that it cut its rate of CO2 emissions by 21 percent between 2009 and 2010, and cut sulphur dioxide emissions by 151,000 tonnes from 2000 to 2010.

WWL cut CO2 in grams per ton carried per kilometer, but increased its total tons of CO2 emissions by 7 percent from 2009 to 2010, based on increased transport work, the company said.

The data comes from WWL’s 2010 Environmental Sustainability Report. Other initiatives outlined in the report include the launch of the Castor Green Terminal and Processing Center, which WWL describes as the world’s first zero emissions marine terminal concept; and the Green Zone, an employee innovation challenge which generated nearly 200 ideas for ways the company could reduce energy consumption.

“A future that demands sustainability is on our immediate horizon,” vice president of environment Melanie Moore said. “New international regulations beginning in 2012 will significantly increase shipping costs as vessels will be required to burn cleaner, more expensive fuels. Improved environmental performance is the best way to prepare our fleet and our customers for these changes.”

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