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Fourth IMO Greenhouse Gas Study

August 5, 2020

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) released its fourth Greenhouse Gas Study on August 4. The study will undoubtedly be discussed at the Marine Environment Protection Committee 75th session. Originally scheduled for March, this annual meeting was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The IMO has not yet announced new dates.

The study relates that shipping’s greenhouse gas emissions have increased from 977 million tonnes in 2012 to 1,076 million tonnes in 2018 – a 9.6% rise. Shipping’s carbon intensity improved by approximately 11% during this period, but increased activity outpaced the efficiency gains.

Emissions are projected to increase by up to 50% over the next few decades to 2050, relative to 2018, despite further efficiency gains, as transport demands are expected to heighten. While COVID-19 impacts will likely cause a decline in 2020 emissions, they are not expected to significantly affect the projections for the coming decades.

The study was prepared for the IMO by an international consortium comprising ten consultancies, research institutes and universities from four continents and led by CE Delft.

You can find the full report on the IMO website. (You must first create a no-cost account to access IMO publications.)