Ships should reduce CO2

Ships need CO2 reduction

The shipping sector needs a robust and ambitious action plan in order to decrease the emissions in the sector.

Ships are responsible for more than 5.5% of the global emissions!

That’s why the Sustainable Shipping Initiative (SSI) wants the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) quickly to make firm commitments to significantly reduce CO2 emissions from shipping.

If no action is taken, experts think emissions will increase as much as 2 to 3 times by 2050.

Ships are a significant source of greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions, including CO2, NOX, SOX, particulate matter, and black carbon, which impact local air quality, human health, and the global climate.

Ships need a climate target

On April 18, the SSI addressed the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from shipping at the international meeting with the International Maritime Organization.

The SSI wants that the maritime sector takes its responsibility in the objectives of the COP21 Climate Deal. Therefore a robust and ambitious action plan is needed in order to decrease the emissions in the sector.

Urgent need

Newly released data from Europe suggests that a single container ship may cause as much pollution as 50 million cars and release as much as 5,000 tons of sulfur oxide into the air annually, contributing heavily to global warming. And there are 90,000 such ships of varying sizes across the world every day. Cargo and Cruise ships!

Alastair Fischbacher, CEO of SII, says there is an urgent need:

“The latest figures from the IMO show that, if nothing happens to the greenhouse gas emissions, emissions by ships will grow with 250 percent by 2050. That’s 17 percent of global emissions. That is unacceptable.”

The agenda of the IMO meeting shows already proposals to measure the actual CO2 by ships. And IMO will discuss CO2 reduction targets.

According to Fischbacher, at this moment the maritime industry is still in the lead regarding the adoption of measures to enable significant reductions in CO2 emissions.

If the sector doesn’t react, then governments will act tough, he expects.


SSI wants a sustainable shipping action plan towards 2040. One possibility is the use of LNG as fuel, but there are other options.

In a report titled ‘Air pollution from marine vessels in the U.S. High Arctic in 2025, the International Council of Clean Transportation presents an emissions inventory based on scenarios for growth in marine vessel traffic in the U.S. Arctic in 2025.


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