IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Potential from International Shipping


  • Philippe Crist



In this paper, we discuss the greenhouse gas emission reduction potential from international shipping. Drawing from the International Maritime Organization’s most recent assessment of maritime greenhouse gas emissions and other sources, we investigate the current level of emissions from international maritime activity and look at factors influencing future emission levels such as projected activity levels, GHG-reducing technology options and the rate of their uptake, operational measures – foremost speed reduction – and fuel switching. We do not discuss the marginal abatement costs of maritime GHG-reduction measures – with the exception of speed reduction – due to insufficient evidence. Finally, we discuss factors that may influence international responses to maritime GHG reduction policies, though these are discussed more thoroughly in a companion paper (Kågeson, 2009). CO2 emissions from maritime transport are larger than has previously been estimated The IMO finds that international maritime activity accounted for 843 Mt of CO2 in 2007 or 45% more than previous emission estimates from marine bunkers. This finding, for illustrative purposes, places 2007 international shipping emissions between the 2005 national emissions of India and Germany. International shipping accounts for approximately 2.7% of world CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion with all shipping activity (fishing, domestic and international) representing approximately 3.3% of total CO2 from fuel combustion. Despite projected efficiency improvements, the IMO projects that CO2 emissions from international maritime activity will grow through 2050 though this growth may significantly slowed through uptake of fuel efficient technologies and operating procedures.

Suggested Citation

  • Philippe Crist, 2009. "Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Potential from International Shipping," OECD/ITF Joint Transport Research Centre Discussion Papers 2009/11, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:itfaaa:2009/11-en

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Farrahi Moghaddam, Reza & Farrahi Moghaddam, Fereydoun & Cheriet, Mohamed, 2013. "A modified GHG intensity indicator: Toward a sustainable global economy based on a carbon border tax and emissions trading," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 363-380.
    2. Alice Bows-Larkin, 2015. "All adrift: aviation, shipping, and climate change policy," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(6), pages 681-702, November.
    3. Pierre Franc & Lisa Sutto, 2012. "Cap-and-trade system on CO2 emissions in maritime transport: potential impacts on shipping lines activities
      [Les permis d’émission de CO2 dans le transport maritime : quels effets possibles sur les
      ," Post-Print halshs-01366275, HAL.
    4. 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.

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oec:itfaaa:2009/11-en. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.