Carbon emissions from shipping are currently around 0.9 gigatonnes (Gt) of CO₂ and account for almost 3% of global emissions, a larger percentage than Germany. Shipping is regulated by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). In 2018 the IMO agreed to reduce carbon emissions from ships by 50% by 2050 compared with 2008. Limiting global warming to 1.5°C (the lower limit under the Paris Agreement) implies reducing CO₂ emissions from shipping to net zero by 2050.
However, the shipping sector is struggling to decide which future fuels offer the most cost effective way to cut carbon emissions. The World Ocean Initiative has covered this topic in a recent article.
When the IMO met in London in November I was interviewed by BBC News on the need for the decarbonisation of the shipping sector.