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Council and European Parliament agree to green shipping fuels regulations

The Council of the EU and the European Parliament reached provisional political agreement on green shipping fuels regulations. The main objective of the FuelEU Maritime initiative, as a key part of the EU’s Fit for 55 package, is to increase the demand for and consistent use of renewable and low-carbon fuels and reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from the maritime sector, while ensuring the smooth operation of maritime traffic and avoiding distortions in the internal market.

Broadly, ships will be required to switch increasingly to sustainable fuels and at least 2% of the bloc’s shipping fuels will need to come from e-fuels derived from renewable electricity by 2034 at the latest.

The text of the provisional agreement retains the core aspects of the 2021 proposal from the European Commission. The co-legislators made some amendments, including:

  • new targets for shipowners to reduce the greenhouse gas intensity of the energy they use onboard: 2% from 2025, 6% as of 2030, 14.5% from 2035, 31% from 2040, 62% from 2045 and 80% from 2050;

  • introducing measures to encourage the use of the so-called renewable fuels of non biological origin (RFNBO);

  • amending the requirements for on-shore power supply (OPS) and provisions relating to zero-emission technologies based on the underlying principle that the system should be coherent with the Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR);

  • excluding fossil fuels from the certification process when it comes to the certification of fuels but also improving the provision to make the process more future proof;

  • amending the provisions on revenues generated from the penalties under the FuelEU regulation and their allocation to projects to support decarbonization of the maritime sector with an enhanced transparency mechanism; and

  • further specifying the Commission’s obligations to monitor the implementation of the regulation in the relevant report and review clause.

The provisional political agreement is now subject to formal approval by the two co-legislators. On the Council’s side, the Swedish presidency intends to submit the text to the member states’ representatives as soon as possible with a view to its formal adoption by one of the upcoming Councils.

There are three core institutions which make up the legislative and executive power of the EU: the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission. The European Commission proposes EU legislation while the Council and the Parliament jointly adopt it.

The European Parliament is made up of 705 Members, who are directly elected by voters in all Member States, represent the European people’s interests with regard to EU law making and make sure other EU institutions are working democratically.

The Council of the European Union is made up of the Member States’ government Ministers, depending on the legislation being discussed. Ministers defend their national interests in the Council.

The European Commision promotes the interests of the EU as a whole. Each Member State nominates one Commissionser to the European Commission.


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