Government outlines its positions on emissions accounting method for transport services
On 7 September 2023, the Government submitted to Parliament a Union communication concerning the European Commission's proposal for a regulation on harmonising the accounting of green-house gas emissions of transport services.
The proposed regulation would not directly oblige transport service providers to reduce or report emissions. Instead, it aims to increase transparency and genuine comparison of emissions by harmonising the methods for calculating and reporting emissions, i.e. emissions accounting, for freight and passenger transport services. With uniform and transparent information, service providers could monitor and reduce their emissions and improve the efficiency of transport services.
Uniform calculation method for transport service providers
According to the Commission's proposal, businesses would be provided with a uniform calculation method for determining transport emissions. A uniform calculation method would reduce the risk of misleading consumers.
The regulation would create a common regulatory framework for calculating and reporting greenhouse gas emissions from transport services using a binding opt-in approach. This means that the regulation would only be binding if emissions from transport services are calculated and reported to a third party, for example where the party purchasing a service requires information on greenhouse gas emissions from transport. The transport procurement contract could then include a clause on the binding nature of emissions accounting.
According to the proposal, the calculation method would apply to the full energy life cycle, i.e. production, transport and use (well-to-wheel greenhouse emissions). Use of primary data based on direct measurements should be prioritised. Secondarily, default values could be used, for which two new databases maintained by the Commission would be established with the assistance of the European Environment Agency.
The Government supports the proposal's objectives to harmonise emissions accounting for transport services. The Government considers it important that according to the proposal deploying the emissions accounting approach would remain voluntary for operators. The Government is of the opinion, however, that national special features with regard to the range of transport solutions need to be taken into account in the further preparation of the proposal.
Further preparations also need to take account of the objectives set out in the Government Programme according to which the Finnish Government commits to meet the emission reduction tar-gets in such a way that its decisions or policy measures will not increase everyday costs for citizens or weaken the competitiveness of business and industry.
On 7 September 2023, the Government submitted a Union communication on the matter to Parliament. The communications will be discussed in the Grand Committee, to which the relevant special committees will give their opinions.
The processing of the Commission proposal will begin in autumn 2023 in the Council of the EU Working Party on Transport - Intermodal Questions and Networks under the leadership of the Spanish Presidency.
Atte Riihelä, Senior Specialist, atte.riihela(at)gov.fi, tel. +358 50 473 9171