Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Shipping Needs Radical Rethink Warn Climate Experts

Container ship passes Golden Gate Bridge (Credit: Click to enlarge.
Avoiding dangerous levels of climate change requires a radical rethink of the shipping system, according to a new report 'High Seas: High Stakes' released today by scientists at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research based at The University of Manchester.

If global shipping is to make its fair contribution to avoiding the 2°C of warming associated with dangerous climate change, CO2 emissions need to be cut within the next decade and fall by at least 80% by 2050 compared to 1990 levels, say the authors.

The report's findings highlight that much more needs to be done even to just curb the rate of growth in emissions, with slow-steaming -- where ships run at lower speeds during their voyages in order to reduce fuel burn -- an essential part of the push towards cutting CO2. It also highlights the importance of looking at the bigger picture: one high profile policy area currently in the minds of the shipping industry is how to cut the sulphur content of fuels.  New regulations that encourage the uptake of fuels that are lower in sulphur, such as low sulphur diesel, may ultimately release higher levels of CO2.  Wind-assisted propulsion, in conjunction with other technologies, is one option that offers scope for addressing both CO2 and sulphur, but that has little traction in the current debate.

Shipping Needs Radical Rethink Warn Climate Experts

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