A provisional compromise agreement on the inclusion of maritime transport in the ETS (Emission Trading System, part of the Fit for 55 package) has been reached yesterday evening by EU negotiators (the Council, the Parliament and the Commission). According to Assarmatori, this agreement partly incorporates some of the instances supported by the Association with respect to the European Commission’s initial proposal, envisaging, for example, an exemption from this regime until 2030 for maritime links with smaller islands and the allocation of part of the proceeds to the maritime sector to finance investments in technological innovation, also averting some proposed changes that would have further worsened the already ETS significant impacts. Moreover, this would not have been possible without the support during the negotiations of our national Administration and the Italian delegation to the European Parliament, to which the Association – which has been working on this dossier for over a year – extends heartfelt thanks.
However, it is clear as it has been stressed by Assarmatori “that the ETS is destined to cause a significant economic impact, i.e. an increase in transport costs with immediate repercussions on territorial continuity with the major islands and on the Motorways of the Sea; and this at a time when the Motorways of the Sea, as the keystone of transport sustainability, should on the contrary be protected.
It should be emphasised that maritime transport is only one element within a complex mosaic that is constantly changing, as the negotiations on the entire ETS revision could be portrayed; a mosaic that includes other industrial sectors (with respect to which open nodes remain), and which is in turn part of a composite package such as the FIT FOR 55. The final discussion on the entire ETS proposal is set for December the 16th.
“In this regard,” explains Assarmatori President Stefano Messina, “we reiterate the need to ensure a synergic alignment in the application of the measure between maritime and road transport. A temporal disparity in the implementation of the two schemes, not to mention the hypothesis that would see this scheme applied only to maritime transport, would not only jeopardise the ambitious objectives of modal shift from road to sea set by the European Commission itself, but could lead to a reverse modal shift, which would add to the already particularly impactful effects of this measure. In this perspective, the role of the Motorways of the Sea, a true instrument of environmental sustainability, must be protected”.
“Finally, it is crucial,” Messina concludes, “that the significant share of ETS revenues that will be allocated to the national budget will be used to finance investments in the maritime sector exclusively, while at the same time accelerating research, innovation, the production of new alternative fuels and the creation of an adequate logistics and distribution network so as to guarantee their effective availability on the market in the coming years”.