This SIG is newly established. If you are interested in greater involvement, please join the group and register your interest in becoming a member of the committee.
Thes Emissions from Shipping SIG seeks to consider, address and influence all aspects related to shipping emissions.
This SIG aims to understand shipping’s role in greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution including black carbon. Specific areas of interest are estimating current and future emissions, measures to control emissions, their effectiveness and options for implementation.
The SIG is undertaking themed work tackling specific questions in a number of working groups (see below) and will act as a focal point for the IMarEST’s involvement in policy fora such as IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee and Pollution Prevention and Response Sub-Committee meetings.
Greenhouse Gases and Energy Efficiency
Greenhouse gases (GHG) and their contribution to climate change are widely discussed and many governmental and intergovernmental bodies are focused on developing methods to reduce emissions. The shipping industry accounts for approximately 2.2% of global greenhouse gas emissions according to estimates presented in the Third IMO GHG Study 2014 approved by IMO MEPC 67 and the anticipated growth in maritime trade is likely to result in a significant increase under present policy. International agreements are necessary if GHG emissions are to be monitored and limited in a global industry like shipping. In 2011, the IMO introduced the first regime for mandatory reduction methods and mechanisms on ships.
As part of the overall effort to control air pollution, shipping emissions, specifically SOX (oxides of sulphur), NOX (oxides of nitrogen) and particulate matter (PM), have increasingly become an area of focus.
IMO MARPOL Annex VI regulations limit fuel sulphur content to 0.1% for ships operating in SOX Emission Control Areas (ECA – SOX) from 1 January 2015. These areas currently include the Baltic Sea, North Sea and English Channel together with coast of North America and US territories within the Caribbean. Ships will also have to limit fuel sulphur content to 0.5% globally from 2020 or 2025 at the latest, pending a forthcoming review. Alternative means of compliance, such as the use of alternative fuels (e.g. switching to LNG which does not contain Sulphur) or scrubber technologies, are an option and an area of significant interest.
Oxides of nitrogen (NOX) emissions are also controlled by IMO MARPOL Annex VI regulations, limiting NOX emissions from marine diesel engines and designating NOX Emission Control areas (ECA – NOX), where more stringent controls apply. The limits are divided into three ‘tiers’. Tier I and Tier II limits apply to engines installed on ships built on or after 1 January, 2000 and 1 January 2011 respectively. Tier III limits will apply to ships built on or after 1 January, 2016, operating within the North American and US Caribbean ECA-NOX. Alternative means of compliance, such as use of selective catalytic reduction (SCR) and exhaust gas recirculation (EGR), which allow the limits to be met, can also be employed.
Black carbon (BC), formed by the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, biofuels, and biomass, is the most strongly light-absorbing component of particulate matter. BC is of concern as regards human health and in terms of its impact on climate. Shipping will contribute to these emissions but shipping’s share is not well defined nor the overall importance of black carbon on global scale well understood. The IMO has adopted a definition of black carbon and is currently gathering information on measurement techniques. Legislative control measures are likely to be some way off.
IMarEST TV recording of the 15 March 2019 presentation by Tristan Smith on behalf of the Emissions from Shipping Special Interest Group held at at the IMarEST Annual Conference 2019. Dr Tristan Smith, Reader in Energy and Transport at UCL…
The IMarEST contributes to the IMO work on the limitation and reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from international shipping. An overview of the 2nd Intersessional Working Group on GHG emissions and the IMarEST's engagement is now available to download below.…
Following the public consultation on the revision of the policy on MRV CO2 emissions from maritime transport, below you will find a summary of the view from IMarEST members: Regarding general policy objectives, the IMarEST members fully agree that GHG…
The Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) is empowered to consider any matter within the scope of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) concerned with the prevention and control of pollution from ships. In particular it is concerned with the adoption and…