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Exploring the scope for complementary sub-global policy to mitigate CO2 from shipping


  • Gilbert, Paul
  • Bows, Alice


For a high probability of avoiding dangerous interference with the climate system, all sectors must decarbonise over coming decades. Although shipping is an energy efficient transport mode, its emissions continue to grow. Compounding this, the sector's complexity, exclusion from emission inventories and slow progress towards a mitigation strategy, limit drivers towards meaningful change. Whilst there remains a preference within the industry for global mitigation policies, the urgency of required emission cuts necessitates exploration of complimentary sub-global measures. The debate surrounding such measures tends to focus on apportioning global shipping emissions to nations. To explore the policy implications of apportionment, the UK is used in this paper to illustrate how available apportionment regimes produce a wide range of emission estimates. Moreover, in the absence of transparent fuel consumption and freight data, they have limited sensitivity, rendering them currently obsolete for monitoring purposes. Nations, regions and organisations influence shipping, particularly in relation to operations, yet debate surrounding apportionment has arguably delayed consideration of sub-global polices and indicators. This paper makes a case for putting the apportionment debate aside in the short-term to open out the full span of options, consider influence over aspects of the shipping system, and how to monitor success.

Suggested Citation

  • Gilbert, Paul & Bows, Alice, 2012. "Exploring the scope for complementary sub-global policy to mitigate CO2 from shipping," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 613-622.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:50:y:2012:i:c:p:613-622
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2012.08.002

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bows, Alice & Anderson, Kevin L., 2007. "Policy clash: Can projected aviation growth be reconciled with the UK Government's 60% carbon-reduction target?," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 103-110, March.
    2. Anderson, Kevin & Bows, Alice & Mander, Sarah, 2008. "From long-term targets to cumulative emission pathways: Reframing UK climate policy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(10), pages 3714-3722, October.
    3. Heitmann, Nadine & Khalilian, Setareh, 2011. "Accounting for carbon dioxide emissions from international shipping: Burden sharing under different UNFCCC allocation options and regime scenarios," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 682-691, September.
    4. Miola, A. & Marra, M. & Ciuffo, B., 2011. "Designing a climate change policy for the international maritime transport sector: Market-based measures and technological options for global and regional policy actions," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(9), pages 5490-5498, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Johnson, Hannes & Styhre, Linda, 2015. "Increased energy efficiency in short sea shipping through decreased time in port," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 167-178.
    2. Heitmann, Nadine & Peterson, Sonja, 2012. "The potential contribution of the shipping sector to an efficient reduction of global carbon dioxide emissions," Kiel Working Papers 1813, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    3. Traut, Michael & Gilbert, Paul & Walsh, Conor & Bows, Alice & Filippone, Antonio & Stansby, Peter & Wood, Ruth, 2014. "Propulsive power contribution of a kite and a Flettner rotor on selected shipping routes," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 362-372.
    4. Heitmann, Nadine, 2013. "Including maritime transport in the EU's climate change policy: Country-based allocation and effects," Kiel Working Papers 1824, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    5. Dinwoodie, John & Tuck, Sarah & Rigot-Müller, Patrick, 2013. "Maritime oil freight flows to 2050: Delphi perceptions of maritime specialists," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 553-561.

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    Shipping; Apportionment; Climate change;


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