Maritime transport causes about 4% of global man-made CO2 emissions which makes its carbon footprint approximately as high as Germany's. There is no regulation of international maritime transport emissions yet, but this is currently under discussion in the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). In respect of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, shipping is the most environmentally-friendly mode of transport. However, if no action is taken, it is estimated that emissions from ships will increase by 150-200% by 2050. At present, around 50,000 merchant ships transport 90% of global goods and make maritime transport indispensable for the world economy. A report published today by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC), provides the first comprehensive overview of methodologies for estimating air emissions from shipping, describes technological solutions and analyses policy options for reducing carbon emissions and air pollution in this sector.
Research, Innovation and Science Commissioner Mire-Geoghegan-Quinn said: "This JRC report underlines why pollution from shipping, like that from many other sources, needs to be reduced both to help tackle climate change and to prevent severe damage to human health. It also discusses options for how a combination of technological innovation and market-based policies could deliver the reductions needed. This study is also a perfect example of how the scientific work done by the Commission's Joint Research Centre can help drive political progress towards the EU's Innovation Union and Europe 2020 goals."
Although maritime transport has the lowest ratio of CO2 emissions per ton-kilometre transported compared to other modes of transport, its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are expected to increase from the current level of around 1 giga-tonne per year, by an estimated 150-200% over the next four decades.
|Contact: Elena Gonzalez Verdesoto|
European Commission Joint Research Centre