The European Parliament today voted to revise EU legislation on the recycling of ships. MEPs supported proposals by Green draftsperson Carl Schlyter to strengthen the draft legislation, with a view to preventing the beaching of old ships in non-OECD countries. However. MEPs rejected a crucial provision, setting out a financial instrument to support this. Commenting after the vote, Green MEP and EP draftsperson Carl Schlyter (Sweden) stated:
"While the EP has voted to put an end to European ships being recklessly scrapped in developing countries in hazardous conditions, this is jeopardized by the failure to adopt a financial mechanism to support this. It is very frustrating that a narrow majority succumbed to the highly misleading lobbying by the maritime sector, seeking to shirk its responsibilities, and voted down the proposed financial mechanism that would have made safe ship recycling competitive.
"Currently, most EU ships are sent to South-East Asia at the end of their lives, where they are beached, with their hazardous materials leaking into the environment and causing unacceptable conditions for human health and the environment. This is an opprobrious practise, which circumvents EU rules under which the export of hazardous waste to non-OECD countries is outlawed.
"The EP's environment committee had almost unanimously supported the creation of various forms of financial incentives to safely scrap ships, including a scrapping fund financed by the industry itself. This would have steered ships that trade with the EU into proper ship recycling facilities. This has now been eliminated, despite repeated requests of the EP for a financial mechanism in previous years. It is very frustrating to see that the scaremongering by European ports has led the EP to reverse its position for properly addressing the problem."