Substantially strengthening emissions regulations for marine shipping will have a “negligible” impact on freight costs, says a new study from Transport & Environment.
For a typical large container ship sailing between China and Belgium, the study concludes that a strengthened set of 2030 emissions intensity targets for fuel would increase the cost of a pair of shoes by €0.27. A banana would cost €0.003 more, while shipping the average television would add “a maximum of 0.01% in price if all the costs are passed on to the final consumer,” the study finds.
In July 2021, the European Commission proposed a series of regulatory measures to support a 55% emissions reduction by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. The plan included a 6% GHG intensity reduction target for marine shipping that drew wide criticism from both industry and NGOs, Transport & Environment says.
Now, some legislators and EU member states are proposing to increase the target to 14%. The T&E study shows that more than doubling the sector’s emissions intensity reductions will have virtually no impact on the cost of goods.
To arrive at even the modest cost increases it estimated, the T&E study factored in a sub-quota renewable fuels of non-biological origin extended coverage to a wider range of CO2 emissions.
But even if a 0.01% increase in the cost of shoes or TVs is insubstantial to most consumers, T&E advises against passing of the buck to consumers. “Given the highest historical earnings of the container carriers, it can be assumed that part of these costs, even if insignificant, can be assumed by the shipping operators,” the study concludes.