OFFICIAL European Union data shows that MSC rose to sixth place in the ranking of EU carbon emitters, if shipping were part of the bloc’s emissions trading system.

Transport & Environment, a European NGO that advocates for environmental issues, said the EU must make shipping companies pay for their pollution and they must also start using green fuels.

Transport & Environment shipping officer Jacob Armstrong said that a ship operator is overtaking coal plants shows that business as usual isn’t working.

“We need an EU carbon market that makes shipping pay for all its pollution,” Mr Armstrong said.

“Anything less than a carbon market covering extra-European voyages lets the biggest shipping companies off the hook and leaves smaller operators who sail mainly within Europe to pick up the tab. It would also forfeit ETS revenues that could be reinvested in greening the sector.”

Later this month the European Commission will announce whether companies should have to start buying pollution permits and using green fuels for these extra-European routes, which account for much European shipping’s climate impact.

On 14 July, the Commission is expected to publish proposals to include European shipping in the EU carbon market (ETS) and establish the world’s first sustainable fuels mandate for ships (Fuel EU Maritime Regulation).