CCC review suggests that the UK’s share of international shipping emissions should be included in climate targets – 3 Nov 2011

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) said today that the UK’s share of international shipping could account for up to 11% of total emissions permitted under the Climate Change Act by 2050 (i.e. 18MtCO2 of total 160MtCO2). Given that international shipping emissions are likely to be material, and to have implications for approaches in other sectors, the Committee recommends that these should be included now in the 2050 target, and sets out options for inclusion in carbon budgets.

The Committee also recommends that the Government should work with the EC to gain access to fuel use data from ship operators in order to resolve uncertainties over current emissions, and that the Government should support market based approaches to reducing shipping emissions, ideally global but if not at the EU level. Emissions from international aviation and shipping are not at present included in carbon budgets or in the UK’s target to reduce emissions in 2050 by 80% below 1990 levels. The Committee will recommend the appropriate option for inclusion as part of formal advice to the Government on inclusion of aviation and shipping in carbon budgets in March 2012.

David Kennedy, Chief Executive of the Committee said:

“Our report highlights the high degree of uncertainty over current and future shipping emissions and the need to resolve this. However, it is clear that shipping emissions could well be significant, and so cannot be ignored – they should be included under the Climate Change Act. It is also clear that there is scope to reduce emissions, which would reduce costs of inclusion. In order to ensure this, the Government should proactively support development of new policies aimed at encouraging investment in cleaner shipping technologies and more efficient operational practices.”  

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