Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

UK’s shipping emissions six times higher than expected says new report

27.09.2010
Carbon dioxide emissions produced by UK shipping could be up to six times higher than currently calculated, according to new research from The University of Manchester.

As the shipping industry’s emissions are predicted to continue to grow in the future, the UK will fail to meet its commitment to avoid dangerous climate change if additional cuts are not made to other sectors.

According to a University of Manchester study, the global shipping industry, despite being traditionally viewed as one of the most energy efficient means of transport, releases increasing amounts of harmful emissions into the atmosphere every year.

Indeed, as the rest of the world strives to avoid dangerous climate change, the global shipping industry’s carbon emissions could account for almost all of the world’s emissions by 2050 if current rates of growth – fuelled by globalisation – continue.

This new report refocuses attention from the global efforts to reduce shipping emissions down to a national scale, and questions if the UK has a role in influencing its share of the CO2 emissions produced.

The dramatic change in the estimate of CO2 from UK shipping is based on the fact that, up until now, the UK’s emissions are calculated using international bunker fuel sales – that is fuel purchased at UK ports.

But, according to the report, this is a misleading statistic as the majority of vessels refuel at nearby ports, such as Rotterdam in Holland, where prices are more competitive.

Researchers at The University of Manchester show that the level of CO2 emissions released by commercial ships involved with UK trade provides a fairer representation of UK shipping emissions than fuel sold.

If this representation were to be adopted, the UK’s CO2 emissions allocated to shipping would increase significantly – and possibly to a higher level than the amount of CO2 released by UK aviation.

Greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping activity currently account for around 3% of total global emissions.

On the basis of its international bunker fuel sales, UK international shipping emissions for 2006 were around seven megatonnes of carbon dioxide (7 MtCO2).

However the report, prepared by researchers at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research and the Sustainable Consumption Institute, claims it is fairer to calculate UK emissions on the basis of shipped goods exported from or imported into the UK.

On this basis, UK emissions rise considerably to 31 or 42 MtCO2 respectively.

Dr Paul Gilbert, Lecturer in Climate Change at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, said: “Tackling climate change requires urgent emission reductions across all sectors.

“Unfortunately up until now, global efforts to reduce shipping emissions have been slow, and are not keeping up with the pace of growth of the sector.

“This report explores the potential for the UK to take national measures to reduce its share of shipping emissions to complement any future global or EU action.”

The report also examines the role the shipping sector should play in overall emissions reduction. Dangerous climate change is generally accepted to be an increase in global average temperature of greater than 2ºC above pre-industrial levels.

To have a reasonable chance of avoiding dangerous climate change, global emissions must fall steeply out to 2050. Indeed, the report suggests that the UK should, in advance of EU or global action, consider a unilateral adjustment to its carbon budgets to reflect its share of international shipping emissions.

It concludes that action is required in both the short and medium-term to significantly reduce shipping emissions below projected levels.

An international deal to control shipping emissions is currently under discussion at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

However, progress on this issue has been slow and the European Union has announced that it will take action at an EU level to limit international shipping emissions if the IMO has not agreed a deal by the end of 2011.

John Aitken, Secretary General of Shipping Emissions Abatement and Trading, said: “This timely and thought-provoking report highlights many of the difficulties faced by those interested in reducing GHG emissions from shipping.

“It is clear a global approach is most preferable. If the further research mentioned in the report identifies an apportionment methodology for "countries" which can be agreed upon by many nation states, it would greatly assist the development of a global strategy."

Notes for editors
Dr Paul Gilbert is available for interview on request.
The report, Shipping and climate change: Scope for unilateral action, is available in full by contacting the Press Office.

The Tyndall Centre, created in 2000, is a distributed national centre for research into climate change mitigation and adaptation.

The University of Manchester Sustainable Consumption Institute (SCI) aims to become a world leader in providing useful policy insights on important environmental and resource issues associated with sustainability. It applies a multidisciplinary approach aimed at providing practical solutions to complex policy challenges. The institute focuses on research and educational outreach.

More information is available at http://www.sci.manchester.ac.uk.

For media enquiries, please contact:

Daniel Cochlin
Media Relations
The University of Manchester
Tel: 0161 275 8387
email: daniel.cochlin@manchester.ac.uk

Daniel Cochlin | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.manchester.ac.uk

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Successful calculation of human and natural influence on cloud formation
04.11.2016 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

nachricht Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Predicting unpredictability: Information theory offers new way to read ice cores

07.12.2016 | Earth Sciences

Sea ice hit record lows in November

07.12.2016 | Earth Sciences

New material could lead to erasable and rewriteable optical chips

07.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>