Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

The Inclusion of Shipping in the EU Emission Trading Scheme: A Legal Analysis in the light of Public International Law

Daniel Pérez Rodríguez


After regulating Greenhouse Gas emissions from air transport, the European Union is now contemplating taking action on emissions from the shipping sector. In order to do so, the European Commission carried out a public consultation process between January and April 2012. This article analyses the legal problems that would arise, in the light of Public International Law, should the European Union decide to follow the path of aviation and include shipping under the European Emission Trading Scheme (ETS). To do so, the focus will be placed on six different normative bodies of international law: (1) the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol;(2) the MARPOL Convention; (3) the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea; (4) the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and the General Agreement on Trade of Services; (5) the principle of sovereignty over maritime areas; and (6) the bilateral agreements ratified by the EU containing clauses on maritime transport. The structure of each of the six normative bodies will be as follows: international commitments under each international norm, possibility of enforcement before tribunals and analysis of the legality of the EU measure in relation to that norm.

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