Aerial view of a busy container port at twilight, with numerous colorful shipping containers and cranes from the current shipping fleet, adjacent to a large bridge.

Climate change and the current shipping fleet

There is a rapidly-depleting “carbon budget” of CO2 emissions the shipping sector can emit in future, if it is to do its part in keeping global temperature rise below 1.5°C. Because ships have very long lifetimes, with slow fleet turn-over, it is possible that emissions from the operations of the existing fleet alone could exceed this carbon budget, irrespective of progress made on introducing low-carbon fuels in new ships. This note summarises analysis of the future emissions of ships covered by the EUMRV regulation, and the implications for International Maritime Organisation (IMO) policy.

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