SSI Impact: News from our journey to 2040

The SSI Newsletter is published quarterly and is the place to find news from the SSI community, our partners and the impact of our collective work along our journey to a sustainable shipping industry by 2040.

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SSI Report: The role of sustainable biofuels in shipping's decarbonisation

The Role of Sustainable Biofuels in the Decarbonisation of Shipping: The findings of an inquiry into the sustainability and availability of biofuels for shipping outlines the findings of an inquiry commissioned by the SSI, reflecting a stakeholder consultation process facilitated by SSI member Forum for the Future to explore the potential role (if any) of biofuels in the decarbonisation of shipping. Forum for the Future conducted the desktop literature review as well as facilitated stakeholder consultations, and put forward a draft of preliminary key findings on which the conclusions were drawn by the SSI membership.

The process was guided by SSI’s Decarbonisation Working Group, whose members played an integral role throughout the consultations. It also benefited from the active engagement and contributions from speakers and participants of the seminars, webinar and Climate Week NYC event.

The report was launched at the 2019 United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP25 (Madrid, 11 December 2019).

Scan the QR code to access the full report or click the links below to download the files in pdf.

Flyer (pdf, 2 MB)
Executive Summary (pdf, 7 MB)
Full report (pdf, 6 MB)

Press release

SSI at COP25: Zero-carbon solutions and the potential role of biofuels

On 11 December at COP25 in Madrid SSI hosted a side event at the UN’s annual climate conference – COP25 – during which the report The Role of Sustainable Biofuels in the Decarbonisation of Shipping was launched.

Outlining the outcome of an  inquiry into the sustainability and availability of biofuels for shipping, the report was compiled by SSI to share the findings on the role that biofuels could play in the decarbonisation of the shipping industry.

Throughout 2019, SSI’s inquiry has explored the issues at play surrounding the sustainability and availability of biofuels for shipping, bringing an important perspective to the conversation on alternative fuel options for decarbonisation and accelerating the delivery of emission reductions. SSI supports a zero-emission shipping sector by 2050 and is both fuel- and technology-agnostic.

COP25 was an opportunity for SSI to launch the report, presenting the findings and recommendations of our inquiry and for key stakeholders to share their perspectives on these. The side event took place within the WWF Pavilion, followed by a Meet-the-Expert session at the EU Pavilion.

Watch the event recording here.


Andrew Stephens, Executive Director, Sustainable Shipping Initiative
Simon Bennett, General Manager – Sustainable Development, The China Navigation Company
Fernanda Carvalho, Policy Manager Global Climate and Energy Practice, WWF


SSI shares key issues emerging from biofuels inquiry with IMO Intersessional Working Group

On 15 November SSI delivered a presentation at the 6th session of the International Maritime Organization's Intersessional Working Group on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships (ISWG-GHG 6) in London, during a slot sponsored by SSI member WWF.

Anthony Field of WWF, Katharine Palmer of Lloyd's Register and SSI ED Andrew Stephens shared some of the key issues emerging throughout our inquiry on the role of biofuels in shipping's decarbonisation. The session was an opportunity to obtain final feedback during the final stages of the inquiry before the report is launched in December at COP25.

SSI slide deck available here

The ISWG-GHG 6 meeting took place during 11-15 November, which proved to be a full week that saw IMO make progress in pushing forward their targets on reducing GHG emissions including agreement on the establishment of a dedicated workstream for the development of lifecycle GHG/carbon intensity guidelines for all relevant types of fuels:

Alternative fuels
"With a longer-term perspective, and in order to encourage the uptake of alternative low- and zero-carbon fuels in the shipping sector, the Working Group also agreed on the establishment of a dedicated workstream for the development of lifecycle GHG/carbon intensity guidelines for all relevant types of fuels. This could include, for example, biofuels, electro-/synthetic fuels such as hydrogen or ammonia, etc. Many participants to the meeting highlighted the importance of undertaking this work as soon as possible, in order to pave the way for the decarbonization of the shipping industry."

The next ISWG-GHG session will be held on 23-27 March 2020, the week before the next meeting of IMO's Marine Environment and Protection Committee (MEPC) which is expected to establish a Working Group on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships. In October 2020 the MEPC is expected to receive the completed Fourth IMO GHG Study.

More on ISWG-GHG 6

More on SSI's inquiry into the role of sustainable biofuels in shipping's decarbonisation

The SSI family meets in Singapore

On 23-24 October SSI members were hosted by Standard Chartered Bank for their bi-annual members meeting in Singapore.

Participants (SSI members + guests) at the biannual SSI members meeting

A full two days with a packed agenda SSI members came together to review SSI progresscelebrate collective achievements, while simultaneously learning and inspiring each other; and continue building the momentum towards shaping the narrative towards a sustainable shipping industry. While we may be based at different locations around the world, the SSI family is close-knit: our members meetings are intimate, and based on mutual trust.

In Singapore we were delighted to have a number of guests join us bringing additional perspectives to the table. Among our guests were Anglo American; BW Group; Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS); Epic Gas; GasLog; Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology (IMarEST); Sumitomo Corporation; and Watson Farley & Williams. Thank you SSI members and guests for your active participation – and special thanks to our host Standard Chartered Bank.

SSI members (from left-right): Mark Lutes (WWF), Mulang Chen (AkzoNobel), Katharine Palmer (Lloyds Register), Marcio Moura (Bunge) and Scott Jones (Oldendorff Carriers)

For sustainable shipping, What should START and STOP?
We asked participants what they thought should happen for sustainable shipping to happen. Here’s a sample of what we came up with:
START: Diversity & inclusion, transparent ship recycling, responsible transition to autonomous ships. STOP: Fossil fuels, poor ship recycling, single use plastics

Industry insights: Maritime Singapore Green Initiative, tsunami detection in the Pacific, Standard Chartered Bank and its role in responsible ship recycling and the role of the media

Clockwise, from top left: Tham Wai Wah (MPA); Roshel Mahabeer (Standard Chartered Bank) and Stephanie Beitien (Eco-Business); John Kornerup Bang (Maersk) and Katharine Palmer (Lloyds Register); Roger Charles (Standard Chartered Bank)

We heard from the Marine and Port Authority (MPA) of Singapore’s Chief Sustainability Officer Tham Wai Wah, who shared with us MPA’s Sustainability Journey towards 2030. He highlighted how MPA is actively engaging in a number of sustainability-related activities including international cooperation through the IMO; promoting sustainable port development and sustainable shipping. They recently published a Maritime Sustainability Reporting Guide under MPA’s Maritime Singapore Green Initiative, in which MPA’s journey appears as a case study.

We were delighted that The China Navigation Company’s Managing Director James Woodrow joined us, alongside Simon Bennett, General Manager – Sustainable Development. Simon shared CNCo’s recent public-private collaboration on tsunami monitoring and the maritime sector, that saw a pilot project drawing on ship-based GNSS data to support tsunami detection, meteorology and numerical weather prediction, and space weather. On ship recycling, Standard Chartered’s Roger Charles talked about what he has been working on to raise the bar on ship recycling, through the Bank’s engagement in the Ship Recycling Transparency Initiative (SRTI) and ongoing collaboration with PHP shipyard in Bangladesh.

We heard from Eco-Business’ Director of Partnerships Stefanie Beitien, who shared the perspective of the media and its role in shaping the business narrative to one of sustainability. Finance and energy are examples of topics of relevance to shipping that are increasingly attracting media attention and coverage. Eco-Business’ approach seeks to “find a balance between hope and fear”; Stefanie shared some tips on how SSI and its members can shine a light on the positive story of sustainable shipping through compelling storytelling.

Sustainable finance: The momentum from clients, regulators and other stakeholders across and beyond the finance sector is accelerating

Roshel Mahabeer, Executive Director Sustainable Finance at Standard Chartered Bank shared some SSI member insights and perspectives on sustainable finance in the shipping industry, prompting an engaging and interactive discussion. Standard Chartered Bank supports sustainable finance by mapping their business against the SDGs to create a green and sustainable product framework - accredited by Sustainalytics - that sets out the sustainable activities that Standard Chartered finances. As part of this framework they offer a number of sustainable products across five sustainable finance capabilities: loans, bonds, deposits, renewables and blended finance. More on the sustainable finance movement here.

Decarbonisation, getting to zero and sustainable biofuels
Members’ discussions on decarbonisation covered a number of issues on which individual members and SSI as a collective are focused. Katharine Palmer, Global Sustainability Manager of Lloyds Register and Maersk’s Head of Sustainability Strategy John Kornerup Bang presented potential decarbonisation transition pathways, coinciding with the launch of their joint study that identified alcohol, biomethane and ammonia as the three new fuels likely to be first generation net-zero fuels for shipping. We also discussed the recently launched the Getting to Zero Coalition – of which SSI is a knowledge partner – a coalition that has gained global attention and contributed to the growing pressure on shipping to decarbonise. Members also had the opportunity to reflect on SSI’s inquiry into the role of sustainable biofuels in shipping’s decarbonisation – including a discussion on its findings and upcoming launch of its report. 

IMO 2020 & Alternative fuels: SSI shares perspectives on biofuels as one the alternative fuel options

SSI ED Andrew Stephens at IMO's Symposium as part of the day 2's session
on the role of alternative fuels in decarbonisation of the shipping industry

On 17-18 October 2019 the Symposium on IMO 2020 and Alternative Fuels was held at the International Maritime Organization in London. The 1.5 day event aimed to raise awareness and to take stock of the preparations for IMO 2020 as well as to discuss the role of alternative fuels in the decarbonisation of shipping.

SSI Executive Director Andrew Stephens spoke on day 2 which looked at the role of alternative fuels, as part of the session 'Stakeholder perspectives on alternative fuels and decarbonization of the shipping industry'. Chaired by Edmund Hughes of the IMO, SSI spoke alongside distinguished panelists representing DNV GL, the Malaysian Government and Shell.

SSI's presentation: 'Is there a role for biofuels in shipping's decarbonisation?'
Audio file for day 2 of the Symposium on the role of alternative fuels in decarbonisation of the shipping industry
Full programme and presentations at the Symposium

Climate Week NYC: What is the role of sustainable biofuels in shipping's decarbonisation?

See also: The Sustainable Shipping Initiative’s Journey to Climate Week NYC

As part of its work on decarbonisation in shipping, the Sustainable Shipping Initiative (SSI) hosted a high-level event during Climate Week NYC 2019 under its Energy Transition track to explore the role of biofuels in the context of the maritime industry’s transition to zero-emission shipping.


What is the role of sustainable biofuels in shipping’s decarbonisation?
New York, 25 September 2019

This event was part of SSI’s stakeholder consultation process to investigate the sustainability and availability of biofuels for shipping. We recognise that a number of questions surround the current, and potential future, sustainability and availability of biofuels – and we want to build a better understanding of the issues at play before deciding whether and how to proceed.

There is an urgent need for the radical decarbonisation of shipping. 

It’s time for the maritime industry to play its part in limiting global heating to 1.5°C, by transitioning from the current reliance on fossil fuels towards zero carbon fuels by 2050. Research commissioned by the SSI in 2018 revealed that zero-emission vessels need to be entering the world’s fleet by 2030 – and that advanced biofuels represent one of the more economically feasible options for shipping in that time-frame.


While some may say “biofuels remain risky territory”– with significant potential for good intentions to result in perverse outcomes – our research suggests there is also potential for certain biofuels to help the shipping industry kickstart its journey towards rapid and full decarbonisation.


At this event we witnessed an inspiring panel of speakers moderated by Sally Uren, Chief Executive of international sustainability non-profit Forum for the Future. Our panelists were:


  • Manuel Pulgar Vidal, Leader of Climate & Energy Practice, WWF
  • Gerard Ostheimer, Managing Director below50, World Business Council for Sustainable Development
  • Christine Weydig, Director, Office of Environmental and Energy Programs, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
  • Adair Turner, Chair, Energy Transitions Commission
  • Kirsi Tikka, Independent Non-Executive Director
  • John Kornerup Bang, Head of Sustainability Strategy & Chief Climate Change Advisor, Maersk

Aligned with the United Nations Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit Energy Transition track, our event shared and anchored our learning across the maritime, sustainability and climate communities. This event represented the culmination of a series of consultations exploring the role of sustainable biofuels in the decarbonization of shipping. The insights from the consultation process and the Climate Week event will feed into a report, on the possible role (if any) of sustainable biofuels for shipping, to be launched at the International Maritime Organization in November 2019.

Climate Week NYC 2019 was a unique opportunity to galvanise stakeholders across and beyond the shipping value chain, demonstrating our commitment through a strong collective voice, concrete actions and by making a tangible contribution to sustainable shipping.


Seminar 2: What is the potential availability of sustainable biofuels for shipping?

SSI is holding a series of seminars and webinars to investigate the sustainability and availability of biofuels for shipping. We recognise that a number of questions surround the current, and potential future, sustainability and availability of biofuels – and we want to build a better understanding of the issues at play before deciding whether and how to proceed.

On 11 July SSI held a seminar on the availability of sustainable biofuels for shipping, hosted by Maersk at the International Maritime Organization. Facilitated by Forum for the Future, the seminar provided an opportunity for a diverse range of views to be expressed on the key questions raised, providing rich insights and debate.

This seminar aimed to provide clarity to the shipping industry as to why there is such a wide range of estimates of the future availability of sustainable biofuel and the implications of these various estimates for the decarbonisation of the shipping sector. Finally it will give stakeholders the opportunity to offer insight and discuss whether sufficient sustainable biofuel will become available to meet the needs of the shipping sector.

Among the rich insights and diverse range of views expressed on the key questions raised, the seminar raised the following points:

  • There is significant variation in projected future availability of feedstock – although there was agreement that the highest estimates (beyond 100 EJ) can largely be discounted as practically unfeasible.
  • Conversely, it was considered likely/reasonable that availability of the order of magnitude of 50EJ could become available (if there is a major societal push to make it so).  This would not just be available for shipping however – but to all potential competing industries/uses.
  • And while shipping, as a ‘hard-to-decarbonise’ sector, might make a case for preferential access – arguments can also be made that end-uses that result in this feedstock being ‘stored’ (ie, in materials) rather than combusted (as fuel) should be prioritised, on the assumption that this has a greater effect on lowering the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide. 
  • If others sectors are demanding biomass at scale then shipping is unlikely to be able to meet all its future energy sources from biogenic feedstocks. Therefore, there is potentially a different approach needed in the shorter term to develop and use the surplus biomass whilst developing non-biogenic decarbonisation technologies ready to enter fleets at the right point. 
  • In terms of that timing, participants suggested that all new ships coming ‘online’ from around 2030 will have to be zero-carbon to fully decarbonise by 2050 at the latest and thus are likely to rely on new, post-biofuel technology.
  • It’s not yet clear that (cost-effective) zero-carbon propulsion technology will be available by 2030 however – and it will only become available if significant efforts are made now to ensure it (requiring everything from strong policy; advocacy in support of such policy; creating strong market signals; etc)
  • The result of this transition management approach would see new vessels be zero carbon without biofuels whilst there is an ongoing but declining role for biofuels to power the existing shipping fleet until its end-of-life.
  • Indeed, the major availability question facing shipping might be whether there will be enough to make a significant dent in shipping over the next decade, rather than whether there will be an eventual cap? (ie will there be sufficient biofuel to enable shipping to improve in the coming decade, rather than will there be too little for shipping to make a wholesale switch in the decades to come)?

Presentations delivered at the seminar

Sustainable biomass potentials and competing uses
Uwe R. Fritsche, Scientific Director, IINAS
Task 40 Deployment Lead & Task 45 Sustainability Co-Lead

Biomass in a low-carbon economy
Jenny Hill, Head of buildings, industry and bioenergy, UK Committee on Climate Change

Research Insights from DBFZ
Alexandra Pfeiffer, KatjaOehmichen, André Brosowski, Stefan Majer

Global Biomass Resource Availability & Trade Flows for Bioenergy
Dr. Andrew Welfle, University of Manchester

Alternative Fuels in Shipping
Environmental Defense Fund

IMO Photo credit: Mark Lutes, WWF

Creating a new norm for responsible ship recycling

Click here to see the original article published in Maritime Risk International.

Andrew Stephens and Nicole Rencoret, at SSI, outline the issues facing the ship recycling sector and reflect voices from the industry

In May 2018 Maritime Risk International published a story, “A call for clarity”, on the newly launched Ship Recycling Transparency Initiative (SRTI). Since then, the SRTI’s online platform – – has gone live, with 14 sustainable shipping leaders in the industry signing up to the initiative. Shipowners are now demonstrating their commitment to transparency and sharing information on their respective approaches to ship recycling. 

The social and environmental risks of recycling ships are well known across and beyond the maritime sector. Shipbreaking carries significant occupational health and safety risks, as well as community health and safety exposure, not to mention risks related to a lack of access to health care, wages, working hours, collective bargaining and freedom of association.

Little traction in global ship recycling regulation 
In the past year, little headway has been made in the way of global regulation beyond the Basel Convention, IMO guidelines for the development of the ship recycling plan and ILO guidelines on health and safety in shipbreaking. This year marks 10 years passing since the adoption of the Hong Kong Convention, yet it still is not yet in force. (The Convention was adopted on 15 May 2009, with its entry into force expected 24 months after ratification by 15 states, representing 40 per cent of world merchant shipping by gross tonnage.)

“For too long, EU vessels have been dismantled in poor environmental and social conditions. This is not acceptable any longer. The full entry into force of the EU Regulation on ship recycling is a milestone for this sector, as it provides for the first time clear and specific rules on how EU-flagged vessels should be recycled. Like other recycling activities, ship recycling can be carried out sustainably, in a way which is good for workers, the environment and the economy.”

Karmenu Vella, EU Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries

At the regional level however, we are seeing progress in the form of the EU Ship Recycling Regulation – the only legally binding and comprehensive instrument on ship recycling in force in the world today, in effect from 31 December 2018. The recycling of all large sea-going vessels sailing under an EU flag can only take place in yards included in a list of ship recycling facilities, comprising 26 yards in the EU, Turkey and the US. (The most recent list was issued on 6 December 2018. Drawn up by the European Commission in close cooperation with the EU member states, the list is regularly updated to include yards complying with strict safety and environmental standards. The Commission is currently assessing applications to join the EU list from more than 20 additional yards, located mostly in India and Turkey.)

The lack of a consistently-applied, legally binding framework means that shipowners, ship recyclers and other stakeholders in the ship recycling value chain continue using different approaches. The current industry narrative does not offer many business incentives for responsible ship recycling: good practice does not always get rewarded and bad practice can often go unchecked. The result is uneven playing field for many shipowners.

Creating fair competition through transparency
With transparency comes accountability; it is impossible to be held accountable without being transparent. We have seen how transparency has moved the goal posts and significantly accelerated progress in other industries. Demanding shipowners’ transparency as a minimum is key to demonstrate progress on how far the industry has come in ship recycling, supporting improvements in performance and increasing overall trust.

"Most ship recycling still happens under unacceptable standards. In the absence of effective regulation the market must act to raise the standards and to enable a level playing field.”

Søren Toft, Chief Operating Officer, A.P. Moeller-Maersk

Being transparent about their ship recycling policies and practices will create fair competition, raise the bar for current practice and enable the shipping industry to be held to account. If shipowners are forthcoming and disclose information on their ship recycling policies and practices, investors and lenders, cargo owners and customers are more likely to choose their services over their non-transparent peers. For many, it comes down to making strategic choices as a matter of risk management.

“The Ship Recycling Transparency Initiative empowers those who invest in or buy services from shipping companies to make informed decisions on vessel recycling. With the SRTI they can demand transparency, helping them ensure they do business with companies that recycle responsibly, rather than those which continue with practices that have horrifying human and environmental consequences. It is unthinkable that change won’t be driven with such knowledge. It also sends a clear signal to tonnage providers on the new normal.”

Craig Jasienski, President and CEO, Wallenius Wilhelmsen

Ship recycling is a complex issue and it’s easy to throw one’s hands in the air and give up. But there issomething that can be done, and the onus remains on the shipping industry to be proactive in changing the existing industry narrative. Shipowners need to take responsibility for their vessels; financial stakeholders and cargo owners need to also play their part, by demanding shipowners’ transparency and using this knowledge for their decisions on the business partners with whom they engage.

“CNCo [The China Navigation Company] believes that if more stakeholders in the shipping value chain share their practices transparently then it will be clear what best practices are possible, and at what level of commitment, and thus how standards can be raised globally for the benefit of all. This Ship Recycling Transparency Initiative does not seek to set any standards, but does provide concrete evidence of what is possible, what is practically being done, and thus allows other stakeholders to select those that are aligned with their own positions and aspirations to be responsible and sustainable.”

James Woodrow, Managing Director, The China Navigation Company 

Knowledge is power, and with knowledge comes responsibility
The SRTI is a one-stop-shop online platform to share information on ship recycling based on key disclosure criteria developed jointly by key industry stakeholders. It aims to accelerate a voluntary market driven approach to responsible ship recycling practices through transparency; and subsequently to influence and improve the decision making about ship recycling, creating an industry-wide level playing field. Shipowners voluntarily disclose their approach to ship recycling, while cargo owners and investors can access this information to better inform their decision-making.

“As a service provider for responsible investments, we see that it is important for our institutional investor clients to ensure that investee companies address both environmental and social risks in ship recycling. This platform facilitates making informed investment decision and is at the same time a good driver for companies within the ship recycling industry to improve performance and transparency, making it beneficial for all parties.”

Hanna Roberts, CEO, GES International/Sustainalytics

The SRTI is not a performance standard nor rating exercise; rather, the online platform serves as a tool that allows ship owners to voluntarily disclose their approach to ship recycling. The data shared through the online platform is allowed to tell its own story.

Cargo owners such as retailers and manufacturers, and financial stakeholders such as investors, banks and lenders can use the SRTI online platform to access this information and inform their sourcing- and investment-related decisions. They can reduce brand risk, align their investments with the views of their customers and be accountable for their supply chain. The SRTI can be built into existing supplier codes of conduct and sustainability strategies and can be used as required criteria for consideration in procurement decision-making processes.

Industry leaders join in demanding transparency across the shipping value chain
The SRTI is an independent initiative hosted by the Sustainable Shipping Initiative, reflecting a collective effort that brings together the shipping industry, investors, cargo owners and broader stakeholders in an effort to improve all aspects of ship recycling policy, practice and performance. It already has the support of a number of leaders from across the shipping value chain including A P Moeller-Maersk, The China Navigation Company, GES International, Hapag Lloyd, Lloyd’s Register, NORDEN, Nykredit, Standard Chartered Bank, Stolt Tankers and Wallenius Wilhelmsen.

“Ship recycling is a complex issue. Lloyd’s Register has worked with a number of responsible vessel owners who want to take action and improve their own responsible recycling practices. To make this the new norm, it requires wider collaboration across the value chain.”

Nick Brown,Marine and Offshore Director, Lloyd’s Register

2019 Informa plc. This article first appeared in Maritime Risk International, February 2019, pp12-13.

Why should shipping reduce its GHG emissions?

Looking for a short & sweet – and compelling – argument for why shipping should reduce its GHG emissions? This Q&A with UNCTAD experts Hassiba Benamara and Frida Youssef makes the case for the responsibility maritime transport has to the environment.

Originally published on the UNCTAD website

Q: What is the carbon footprint of shipping?

A: In 2012, total shipping emissions were estimated at approximately 938 million tonnes of CO2. This represented 2.6% of global CO2emissions. International shipping is estimated to have emitted 796 million tonnes of CO2 which represented 2.2% of the world total (IMO Third GHG Study 2014).  To put things in perspective and for comparison, carbon dioxide emissions from international shipping are comparable to the emissions attributed to Germany (802 million tonnes in 2016), the 6th world CO2 emitter (Global Carbon Atlas, 2017).

Q: How does shipping compare to other modes of transport?

A: Maritime transport compares favourably to other modes of transport, both in terms of fuel efficiency and GHG emissions (per unit/tonne-kilometre). However, there is significant potential for an increasing carbon footprint in view of the heavy reliance of international shipping on oil for propulsion and the expected growth in world demand for shipping services driven by expanding global population and trade.

Q: How are GHG emissions from shipping expected to evolve?

A: Without mitigating actions, carbon emissions from the sector can be expected to increase and, therefore, undermine the sustainability objective. Forecast scenarios for the medium term suggest that, under a business as usual scenario, maritime carbon emissions could increase by 50–250% by 2050, depending on economic growth and global energy demand (IMO Third GHG Study 2014).

Shipping, therefore, has a crucial role in helping to achieve the internationally agreed goal in the Paris Agreement of limiting the global average temperature increase to below 2°C above pre-industrial levels.

Q: How are the emissions from international shipping dealt with under the Kyoto Protocol?

A: Greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping – which is estimated to carry over 80% of world trade by volume and over 70% by value – are not covered under the Kyoto Protocol.

Q: Why is it difficult to regulate GHG emissions from shipping?

A: One major difficulty associated with regulating GHG emissions from international shipping relates to the inherent complexity of this sector.

GHG emissions from international shipping are mainly generated outside national boundaries and ships may be linked to different nations through registration, beneficial ownership and operation. The calculation of emissions and their attribution to countries is therefore complex.

Q: What is the international community doing to address the problem?

A: The Kyoto Protocol delegated work on limiting or reducing GHG emissions from marine bunker fuels to the IMO. In 2016, the IMO adopted a mandatory data collection system for fuel consumption by ships and a roadmap for developing a comprehensive IMO strategy on the reduction of GHG emissions from ships.

In April 2018, the IMO adopted an initial strategy on this matter, which aims at the reduction of total annual GHG emissions from ships by at least 50% by 2050, compared with 2008, and includes quantitative reduction targets through 2050, with short-term, midterm and long-term policy measures to help achieve the targets.

Under the initial strategy, market-based measures may be potential midterm measures, to be agreed upon in 2023–2030. Various considerations need to be addressed, including the potential implications of market-based measures for transport costs and trade competitiveness, in particular in developing countries, including small island developing States and landlocked developing countries.