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 When corals eat plastics
24.05.2018 | Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen

nachricht Dispersal of Fish Eggs by Water Birds – Just a Myth?
19.02.2018 | Universität Basel

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: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

When corals eat plastics

24.05.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Surgery involving ultrasound energy found to treat high blood pressure

24.05.2018 | Medical Engineering

First chip-scale broadband optical system that can sense molecules in the mid-IR

24.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>