UCL Energy Institute


Policy implications of meeting the 2C climate target


26 November 2015

The inherently global nature of shipping has (certainly in the past half century) dictated the regulation of the shipping sector. Both the IMO and the ICS have affirmed their position that the regulation of shipping must, first and foremost, be the responsibility of agents at the global multilateral level. One interpretation of this is that shipping should be viewed akin to a sovereign nation in its own right. This position has significant implications for the responsibility of the sector as a whole in responding to the challenges posed by climate change. In the first instance, both the IMO and the ICS have established that the shipping industry is committed to its responsibility for reducing its carbon emissions, however it is also asserted that any response must be proportionate to shipping’s share of the total global emissions. Mitigating against dangerous climate change has conventionally been associated with maintaining temperature rise at least under a 2°C threshold, and that framing is also used in this paper. Scenarios of future shipping greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions suggest that under current policy, shipping emissions are expected to rise significantly – by 50 to 250% (IMO 3rd GHG study, 2014). This paper follows from the work of Smith et al (2015) presented in MEPC 68 that explores alternatives to the current expectations of shipping’s CO2. The shipping system model GloTraM is used to generate future scenarios up to 2050 under current policy, an imposed bunker levy, and under a cap and trade emission trading scheme with the cap set to shipping achieving a consistent proporition of the overall 2°C emission budget. The impact of these different scenarios on fuel mix, technology, EEOI and carbon price is then explored.

Policy implications of meeting the 2C climate target. Shipping in Changing Climates 2015 Glasgow.

Hosseinloo, S.H., Smith, T.W.P., Walsh, C., Traut, M., Raucci, C. (2015)

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