The FuelEU Maritime deal establishes a clear trajectory for greenhouse gas intensity reductions in the maritime sector, asking to cut ship emissions by 2% as of 2025 and by 80% as of 2050.
FuelEU Maritime is part of the Fit for 55 package – EU's plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels and to achieve climate neutrality in 2050. The main objective of FuelEU Maritime 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.
The Commission’s proposal from July 2021 was adopted by the Parliament in October 2022. On 23 March 2023, Parliament and Council reached a provisional agreement that retains the core aspects of the Commission’s proposal, with some amendments. All the details on the requirements and processes are expected as the final text is adopted. Below are the main aspects of the provisional agreement:
Cutting maritime emissions
- Ships will have to gradually reduce the amount of greenhouse gas in the energy they use (below 2020 level of 91.16 grams of CO2 per MJ): 2% as of 2025, 6% as of 2030, 14.5% as of 2035, 31% as of 2040, 62% as of 2045 and 80% as of 2050.
- The targets would apply to ships above a gross tonnage of 5,000 and to all energy used on board in or between EU ports, as well as 50% of energy used on journeys where the departure or arrival port is outside of the EU or in EU outermost regions.
- Commission will review the rules by 2028 to decide whether to extend the requirements to smaller ships or to increase the share of the energy used by ships coming from non-EU countries.
- As an incentive, the provisional deal gives more credits in the form of offsetting emissions to ship owners who use renewable fuels of non-biological origin (RFNBO) from 2025 to 2034.
- The deal set a 2% renewable fuels usage target as of 2034 if the Commission reports that in 2030 RFNBO amount to less than 1% in fuel mix.
On-shore power supply
- Containerships and passenger ships are to use on-shore power supply while at berth at main EU ports (TEN-T ports) as of 2030.
- This will also apply to the rest of EU ports as of 2035, if these ports have an on-shore power supply.
- Certain exemptions will apply, such as staying at port for less than two hours, using own zero-emission technology or making a port call due to unforeseen circumstances or emergencies.
Parliament and Council will have to formally approve the agreement before FuelEU Maritime can come into force.
FuelEU Maritime will be closely linked to the revised version of the EU ETS that includes the maritime sector in the EU emissions trading system. We continue to monitor EU ETS, FuelEU Maritime and other regulations related to a more sustainable maritime industry.
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