More information needed on the impacts of emissions trading in maritime transport

Press release 09.07.2020 09.15 fi sv en

Cargo ship at the Baltic Sea. (Photo: Lasse Hendriks / Shutterstock)

A report carried out by the University of Turku and the Finnish Meteorological Institute provides an initial assessment of the effects of possible emissions trading in maritime transport. The European Commission plans to present a proposal on extending emissions trading to maritime transport in summer 2021.

Maritime transport is of particular importance to Finland, which possesses high-level expertise in the area. Combating climate change requires that the entire transport sector is involved in the cause, and our maritime cluster operators have good opportunities to promote sustainable shipping. At the same time, Finland’s foreign trade is particularly dependent on maritime transport due to our location. The report shows that further information about the different options and impacts of emissions trading is necessary. The Commission’s forthcoming proposal to expand emissions trading is one of the key areas for the Ministry of Transport and Communications to influence EU decision-making. 

According to the report, the impact of the introduction of emissions trading on maritime transport emissions will depend significantly on the way it is implemented and the price level of emission allowances. Emissions from maritime transport depend on the type of ship where a great deal of variation exists. As a result, the cost effects may vary considerably between different shipping companies and charterers. 

There also exists a risk, particularly in connection with regional emissions trading, that emissions are transferred outside the emissions trading system. The report states that, if implemented successfully, emissions trading can create a significant market for technologies that curb ship emissions.

The report on the impacts of emissions trading in maritime transport deals in particular with the possible inclusion of maritime transport in the EU's emissions trading scheme, but also with global measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from maritime transport. The report commissioned by the Ministry of Transport and Communications assesses the costs and effectiveness of emissions trading as a means of reducing emissions. Other topics include winter navigation, which is a key area for Finland. 

More information: 

Eero Hokkanen, Senior Specialist, Ministry of Transport and Communications, tel. +358 50 476 0401,

Lauri Ojala, Professor, University of Turku, tel. +358 50 502 7031,