National governments have a much greater responsibility for shipping emissions than previously estimated, finds new UCL-led research.
Published today, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO)’s fourth Green House Gas (GHG) study found that, on average, GHG emissions of global shipping are increasing and are expected to continue to increase under current policy, with emissions hitting an all-time high in 2017.
Split into two key areas – emissions inventory and projecting future emissions – the study highlights the need for significant action to cut emissions by at least 50% by 2050 compared to 2008 levels, as required by the IMO. In 2018, 937 million tonnes (Mt) of carbon dioxide alone were emitted by the sector – only 0.3% lower than emissions levels a decade earlier.
Leading the work on emissions inventories, the multi-disciplinary team at UCL’s UMAS (University Maritime Advisory Services) made a number of advances, most importantly the ability to estimate the GHG emissions for each ship in the global fleet on every voyage sailed. Satellite observations of shipping activity enabled researchers to discover that an estimated 30% of total shipping emissions fall directly within national government responsibility, which is twice the magnitude previously estimated, with 316Mt of the total 1056Mt of shipping emissions within national emissions responsibilities.
Continue reading at University College London
Image via University College London