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.