Environmentalists fear the inclusion of shipping in the European Union’s emissions trading system (ETS) could be delayed after a key European Parliament vote.

European lawmakers have voted against adopting an upgrade of the EU’s carbon market, which would have added shipping, road and aviation to the ETS scheme.

The vote was against the package as a whole, rather than specifically the inclusion of shipping and other industries.

Also included in the package were a series of other measures such as a new carbon levy on cement and steel imports.

Representatives of both sides of the political spectrum were among those that voted against the adoption of the package.

Greens and socialists were concerned that the measures are too weak, while conservatives said they went too far.

Observers were surprised by the vote after the package had sailed past earlier political hurdles in the adoption process.

In May, the European Parliament approved of the Fit for 55 climate measures package, which includes adding shipping to the EU’s ETS.

Race against time

The EU had been hoping to get the measures in place by 2023, but sources say it now faces a race against time to achieve political consensus in the European Parliament if it is to achieve that date.

The plans are expected to be put to the vote again later in the year.

Jo Dardenne, aviation director at lobby group Transport & Environment, said: “Disagreements on the overall package mean the ambitious measures for shipping and road transport, agreed on by the parliament, have now been delayed.

“Negotiators should come back to the table as soon as possible and maintain the ambitious measures already agreed for road and shipping.”

Transport & Environment said it has urged European policymakers to “not let political disagreements get in the way of ambitious transport measures”.