Shipping Industry and Climate Change
Global warming is now recognized to be one of the major environmental problems faced by mankind and the consequences of that are already visible around the globe. The total carbon dioxide emissions from international shipping is estimated to account for a respectable 3% of the global anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions, while it is feared that these emissions could triple by 2050, if no regulatory measures are implemented for the reduction of CO2 emissions. It is estimated that 90% of the global trade is carried out via the sea; that places the shipping industry on the top of global trade. Furthermore, the sea trade is expected to increase substantially in the years to come. Europe holds a leading position in the worldwide sea trade, with European registered companies owning almost 41% of the global trading fleet, in terms of cargo capacity. Ships flying EU flags emit more than 200 million tones of CO2 rendering the shipping industry the biggest atmospheric polluter in the EU. Reduction of CO2 emissions from maritime transport is one of the most significant targets set by both the IMO and the EU. To this extent, one of the main measures considered by the EU for the reduction of emissions is the inclusion of the shipping industry in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme ( EU ETS) or in a trading scheme similar to that. This will be part of the overall strategy of the EU and its efforts to cut EU emissions 20% below 2005 levels by 2020.
Maritime CO2 Project
Undoubtedly, any measure aiming at the reduction of CO2 emissions in the shipping industry will have a significant impact on the maritime sector as well as significant financial, social and environmental impacts. The Maritime CO2 Project aims in the assessment of the possible environmental, social and financial impacts associated with the adoption of a CO2 allowance trading scheme in Europe and specifically in the maritime nations of Cyprus, Greece and Denmark. The results of this project will provide a valuable insight on the issue of shiiping emissions and will serve as a tool to the EU and national decision centers. Moreover, they can, hopefully, contribute to the development of a more environmentally friendly shipping industry.