Efficiency, emission rights, compensation – climate change mitigation measures for international maritime transport
The maritime sector contains substantial technical and operational potentials to mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. By means of efficiency improvements alone, the sector’s emissions can be reduced by 25 percent and costs saved at the same time. On behalf of the German Federal Environment Agency, Oeko-Institut has – in cooperation with CE Delft and attorney Tim Bäuerle – analyzed potentials for mitigating greenhouse gases in maritime transport and various measures for tapping these.
Good for the environment: a mitigation target for greenhouse gas emissions of international shipping and a market-based measure
Different measures can provide incentives to ship owners to invest in more efficient technologies and can thereby help to reduce the GHG emissions of the maritime sector. This is not, however, sufficient from the perspective of the project researchers.
"The climate change mitigation targets cannot be met by increased efficiency alone. There is reason to fear that a growth in the shipping fleet will more than offset the increase in efficiency. For this reason we need a mitigation target for the greenhouse gas emissions of the international shipping industry as well as additional measures,” states Friedhelm Keimeyer of Oeko-Institut.
Such measures could be aimed at reducing the absolute emissions of the maritime sector or at offsetting the emissions by financing emission reductions in other sectors. Several market-based measures also come into consideration: a compensation fund, an emissions trading scheme and tax measures.
The final report ‘Analysis and further development of climate protection measures in shipping taking into account the current developments on international and European level’ is divided into six discussion papers (2012 – 2015), each of which contain an abstract in German and English.
Rising greenhouse gas emissions in the maritime sector
The report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) suggests that by 2050 global GHG emissions need to be 40 to 70 percent below their 2010 levels in order to prevent a global temperature increase of more than 2°C compared to pre-industrial levels. However, the Third GHG Study of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) projects that shipping emissions will increase by 50 to 250 percent by 2050. This would result in an increase in the share of global emissions from the current level of two to ten percent if the rest of the world is on a path towards the 2°C target. However, there is no system in place – either on EU or the global level – that regulates the level of the GHG emissions of the maritime sector.
Contact at Oeko-Institut:
Environmental Law & Governance
Oeko-Institut e.V., Berlin office
Phone: ++49 30 405085-308