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Success! World fleet 60% larger than 2008, but emitting 18% less carbon

PortandTerminal.com, September 30, 2019

Global shipping is moving quickly towards less polluting sources of fuel. Despite transport by sea being the most CO2 efficient way of shipping massive amounts of cargo, the sheer size of our industry means that shipping is still one of the largest contributors of CO2 emissions in the world.

Today’s news is good news for anyone in the maritime industry who cares about the future of our planet as it is confronted with runaway climate change according to research published by Clarkson.

The latest Clarkson weekly report shows that the fuel consumption and the carbon output of the world fleet are lower today (~820m tonnes of carbon) than in 2008 (~1,000m tonnes), despite moving 35% more cargo and there being 60% more tonnage on the water.

The primary driver has been speed, which is down 15-20% according to Sea/net. In addition, a new generation of fuel-efficient vessels has helped, the report noted. Clarkson Research Services now grades around 30% of the world tonnage as “eco” and estimates these vessels produce around 20% less carbon. For example, based on the same voyage assumptions Clarkson Research Services uses for its earnings calculations, a modern ‘eco’ Capesize produces around 85 tonnes of carbon per day compared to around 112 tonnes for a non-eco.

Under International Maritime Organization (IMO) guidelines, shipping has been tasked with slashing its greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2050 compared to 2008 levels.

As an industry, we have a long way to go in doing our part to become carbon neutral. Today’s news though should be seen as a sign that we’re all making positive steps that make a difference.

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