MEP Peter Liese’s recent proposal to introduce the “polluter pays” principle and to include shipping in the pollution trading system of the EU is in the right direction, according to INTERCARGO, the international association of Dry Cargo Shipowners.

This principle recognizes that the shipping company does not often have the commercial management of the ship and is, therefore, not responsible for the resulting emissions of greenhouse gases from fuels. The Chairman of INTERCARGO, Mr. Dimitrios Fafalios, points out that, although the Union maintains its reservations about the participation of shipping in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), it expresses its satisfaction of the fact that the European Commission is taking steps in the right direction, as it finally understands some of the realities of the shipping industry. As Mr. Fafalios explains, the transaction models in the bulk dry cargo sector vary and, in any case, a significant share of the cargo volume is handled by charterers, who not only take responsibility for the purchase of the ship’s fuel, but also receive operational decisions, such as the speed of the ship, that directly affect the CO2 emissions from its engines.

However, INTERCARGO remains firmly committed to supporting the role of the IMO (International Maritime Organization) as the global decision-making forum for the elimination of CO2 emissions from shipping.

Intercargo, however, supports any initiative aimed at facilitating this transition for ship operators, and, therefore, supports Mr Liese’s proposal to set up an Ocean Fund in order to fund research and development of alternative fuels and to finance projects that aim at bridging the price gap between cleaner and conventional fuels.