Ship climate emissions are as large as all the emissions of Germany or Japan, and are growing fast. Urgent action is needed at all levels to reduce the climate impact of existing ships and roll out new zero-carbon ship propulsion technologies and fuels. A clear and unambiguous target consistent with the Paris Agreement’s goal of keeping global heating below 1.5 °C is essential to ensure that new rules and regulations are fit for purpose. Measures should target technologies (e.g. wind-assist technology) and operational practices (e.g. slower speeds) that reduce fuel burn. This can dramatically lower fossil-fuel carbon emissions in the short term, and help prepare the industry for a new era of scarce and more expensive future zero-carbon fuels.

If shipping’s climate pollution is not addressed urgently it risks undermining all other efforts at tackling the climate crisis, with very serious consequences for the health of our seas and oceans.

John Maggs, Senior Policy Advisor at Seas At Risk