programs / Marine


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.

Featured Work



Recently Released

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
Action plan for establishing ship emission control zones in China
Summarizes the specific actions to be implemented in the three key ECZs and compares them to standard emission control areas (ECAs) designated by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
Policy update
Oil market futures: Effects of low-carbon transport policies on long-term oil prices
Oil prices will be lower in the future if low-carbon transport technologies are mass deployed, as these technologies will drive a significant reduction in global demand for oil.
Consulting report

From the ICCT Blogs

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
Heavy fuel oil is considered the most significant threat to the Arctic. So why isn’t it banned yet?
When we know that heavy fuel oil is the biggest threat to the Arctic marine environment, dangerous to human and environmental health, and already banned in the Antarctic, shouldn’t we seriously consider prohibiting its use in the Arctic?
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