London - Shipping emissions made up 2.2 per cent of global CO2 emissions in 2012 down from 2.8 per cent in 2007, but the sector’s carbon impact is likely to grow significantly in the coming year, according to a new UN-backed study. An International Marine Organisation (IMO) study published this month found international shipping emitted 796 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) in 2012 against 885 million tonnes in 2007. However, the fall is largely attributed to a slowdown in trade following the financial crisis, which allowed shippers to run vessels at slower speeds to conserve fuel, a practice known as slow steaming. Moreover, the report predicts the industry’s emissions are likely to grow by between 50 per cent and 250 per cent through to 2050 under a ‘business as usual’ scenario.
The study was published at last week’s meeting of the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) in London, where work continued on proposals for the development of market-based mechanisms designed to limit shipping’s carbon impact. Proposals currently being considered include a tax on bunker fuel or an emissions trading scheme for the shipping industry, but progress to date has been limited to a series of efficiency measures. The IMO says the efficiency measures it is pursuing should cut shipping’s emissions intensity 23 per cent by 2030, but has admitted they may not be enough to effect an absolute reduction in emissions.
(Source: Business Green)