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Ships are a very efficient means of moving goods, across the globe or along a nation's coastline or inland waterways. But they are also an increasingly important source of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. The conventional pollutants produced by shipping are primarily sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides and particulates. Some portion of this pollution occurs far from land, but an estimated 70 to 80 percent of air toxics from oceangoing vessels are released within 400 kilometers of shore, where they can have substantial effects on human health. Carbon dioxide emissions from international shipping more than doubled between 1990 and 2007. The marine sector now generates about 2.7 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions, and recent growth projections suggest it could account for seven percent of global emissions by 2050.

How nations decide to regulate marine emissions over the next decade, individually and collectively, will hold important implications for air quality and the global climate.

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Marine engine emission standards for China's domestic vessels
On August 30, 2016, China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) and the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) jointly released the first-ever national emission standards for...
Policy update
Black carbon measurement methods and emission factors from ships
Measures marine BC emissions in the lab and onboard two container ships, one with a modern Tier II main engine and another with an older Tier 0 engine outfitted with an exhaust gas cleaning system (EGCS).
Consultant report
Heavy fuel oil use in Arctic shipping in 2015
MEPC’s 70th session will consider two topics that may greatly reduce the amount of HFO used in the Arctic: a global marine fuel sulfur cap of 0.5% (currently it is 3.5%), and whether or not HFO use in the Arctic should be...
Working paper
 

From the ICCT Blogs

Quibbles over the perfect way to measure black carbon emissions from ships are keeping us from commonsense moves to control them
Without regulation, it’s unlikely that the international maritime shipping sector will voluntarily find ways to cut black carbon emissions, despite the climate benefit. Thus, we need to move on from quibbling about the “perfect” measurement method and start debating the opportunities to cut black carbon control emissions. But we must move quickly. Because the Arctic we’re aiming to protect can’t keep its cool much longer.
Staff Blog
End of Crystal Serenity’s voyage spotlights way to ban toxic fuel in Arctic
With Arctic shipping expected to rise, there may be an argument that communities in the Arctic ought to be protected from ship emissions just like the rest of the continent. Though it’s an open issue whether the Arctic will win protection from pollution by ships.
Staff Blog
Black carbon: Bringing the heat to the Arctic
On her 32-day voyage through the Northwest Passage, the Crystal Serenity probably emitted a bit more than 1 metric ton of black carbon, a climate forcer about 3200 times more powerful than CO2—and in the Arctic, pretty much the worst place possible.
Staff Blog

The Staff

Fanta Kamakaté
Fanta Kamakaté
Chief Program Officer
Naya Olmer
Naya Olmer
Marine Program Associate
Daniel Rutherford
Daniel Rutherford
Program Director / Japan Lead