The shipping industry expects ongoing growth in CO2 emissions to 2050, despite an apparent recent decline, say Tyndall Manchester experts. Opportunities for decarbonizing the sector in line with international commitments on climate change need to be re-evaluated.
"In November 2014, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) released a study estimating greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions from the shipping sector globally between 2007 and 2012. The report shows how the shipping sector responded to the recent global economic downturn and considers drivers of GHG emissions. It breaks the sector into categories (for example, domestic, international) and ship types, looking back to 2007 and forwards to 2050 to develop future emissions scenarios for the sector. In addition, the report produces historical 'top-down' and 'bottom-up' GHG estimates for the global fleet, and by ship category. The top-down estimates use global marine bunker fuel sales data, whereas the bottom-up figures combine Automatic Identification System (AIS) observation data with technical data on the global fleet. Given the scale and urgency of the global climate change challenge, such detailed studies are essential for improving and prioritizing mitigation policies and efforts."