The concept of “committed emissions” allows us to understand what proportion of the Paris-constrained and rapidly diminishing global carbon dioxide (CO2) budget is potentially taken up by existing infrastructure. Here, this concept is applied to international shipping, where long-lived assets increase the likelihood for high levels of committed emissions. To date, committed emissions studies have focussed predominantly on the power sector, or on global analyses in which shipping is a small element, with assumptions of asset lifetimes extrapolated from other transport modes.
University of Manchester
James Mason is a PhD researcher at The University of Manchester. His research focuses on reducing carbon emissions in the shipping sector. His work looks at sail-assisted ship propulsion, where ships use modern Flettner rotor sails to provide renewable energy from the wind, reducing the fuel consumed by the engine. Working alongside Dr John Broderick and Professor Alice Larkin, James has built a satellite navigation software for these sail-assisted ships. The software calculates the optimum route and speed of a ship to minimise carbon emissions, directing the ship to areas of ocean with beneficial wind. The research aims to use this voyage optimisation technique to determine carbon savings when applied to the global activities of the Panamax bulk carrier fleet.
James has been interviewed by BBC Radio 4 and Transform magazine about his work and won the audience favourite and runner-up prizes in the 2019 Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition. He is also a co-host of the Tyndall Centre’s official 20th-year podcast, which interviews a number of the Tyndall Centre’s academics about their world-leading research.
James Mason graduated from The University of Manchester in 2016 with a Master’s degree in Physics. His master’s project developed cryogenic equipment for astronomy-based research. He enjoys quantitative work and is proficient in optimisation techniques, data analysis and data visualisation.