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(Bloomberg) — The European Union will present in the coming months a proposal to curb emissions from ships in the absence of an international solution, a European Commission official said.

The International Maritime Organization, created under the United Nations system, has been unable to agree on measures to curb emissions from ships for more than a decade. While IMO “is the best entity to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping” it has been slow to act, Elina Bardram, head of the international carbon market unit at the European Commission, told a seminar in Brussels today.

“We are including different types of measures, ranging from measurement, reporting and verification, to technical standards, to setting baselines. These options are all on the table,” Bardram said. “The ETS-type schemes are part of the options that are being considered.”

The EU emissions trading system is the world’s biggest cap- and-trade carbon market. It imposes pollution limits on about 12,000 companies and expanded this year to include flights to and from EU airports.

Global maritime transport accounts for almost 3 percent of carbon-dioxide discharges, and emissions from ships are expected to more than double by 2050, according to the commission, the Brussels-based EU regulatory arm.

“We will not introduce a maritime proposal that would be discriminatory or would result in distortions,” Bardram said. “We are responsible and at the same time we have to ensure that the European industry has a level playing field and that we’re able to incentivize early actions, that we can make things happen.”

IMO recognizes the “urgency” of the need to reduce greenhouse gases from shipping, Andreas Chrysostomou, chairman of IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee, told the conference today. The organization has already introduced mandatory efficiency measures, established a group to evaluate proposals on market-based mechanisms and wants to continue their development next year, he said.

-By Ewa Krukowska. Copyright 2012 Bloomberg.

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