Carbon emissions from global shipping could almost double
to two billion tonnes a year by 2020, according to new figures
from Netherlands-based shipping technology specialist DK
The estimate is some 500m tonnes higher than official International
Maritime Organisation (IMO) projections, prompting
DK Group chief executive Christian Eyde Moeller to warn that
emissions from the sector are growing faster than expected.
DK Group specialises in so-called air cavity systems that
enhance the fuel efficiency of ships by reducing the frictional
resistance of the hull's surface by directing air through
the ship's hull - and, as such, has a vested interest in promoting
emissions reduction measures for the shipping industry.
However, Eyde Moeller stood by the company's calculations,
insisting they were robust and accurate.
A spokesman for the IMO said that its most recent estimates
for greenhouse emissions were undertaken in 2000 and, as such,
were likely to be outdated. He added that the organisation
was now working on fresh projections and was expected to publish
new research on shipping's carbon footprint this October.
The DK Group figures come just days after the IMO announced
a raft of plans designed to limit the shipping industry's
environmental impact. At a recent meeting in London, the IMO's
Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC)
agreed a range of amendments to the MARPOL
Annex VI regulations that will impose tough new air
quality standards on ships.
Under the changes, which are expected to come into effect
between 2010 and 2016, ship operators will be required to
deliver progressive reductions in sulphur oxide emissions
and nitrous oxide emissions. The moves are expected to impose
major costs on ship operators and have a knock-on impact on
oil refiners who will be required to provide shipping firms
with diesel containing lower sulphur content.
The London meeting also made progress towards developing
a regulatory framework for curbing shipping's greenhouse gas
emissions with delegates discussing a raft of proposals -
including plans to impose a global levy on bunker fuels, promote
increased use of wind power, improve traffic management to
shorten journey distances, enforce speed reductions for vessels,
introduce standardised emission reporting and incorporate
ship operators in emissions trading schemes.
The next round of talks of the IMO's GHG Working Group is
now scheduled for Norway in June, where IMO Secretary-General
Efthimios E. Mitropoulos expressed confidence further progress
could be made.
DK Group's Eyde Moeller insisted that a robust regulatory
regime would ultimately be required to curb shipping emissions,
arguing that a voluntary approach would prove inadequate.
"There is a direct link between CO2 emissions
and fuel consumption - yet, despite the fact that fuel represents
around 50 per cent of ship operators costs, they are still
not making the transition to more fuel efficient approaches
quick enough" - he said. "Regulations will be needed
to challenge operators to make the required changes."
For more information on DK Group - Click