Shipping sector could cut CO2 by 25%—at no cost

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Existing low- or no-cost technological and operational measures could curb sector’s emissions, which are expected to grow 200 percent.

FUENTE – CleanTech – 21/05/09

The International Maritime Organisation released a new report in London that shows the shipping sector could save money by cutting emissions, even without a price being levied on emitted carbon.

The study showed that a range of techniques, including operating ships in more efficient ways to save fuel, could lead to 25 percent to 75 percent reductions in emissions from current levels. Other techniques include speed reductions, kite sails, and upgrades to machinery such as hulls, engines and propellers.

The technological and operational adjustments would more than pay for themselves, the study said. Technology that would result in no additional cost to the industry has the potential to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 135 million to 365 million metric tons.

And the financial benefits of adopting the technologies would further improve if the sector is subject to carbon taxes or cap-and-trade programs.

The study is expected to encourage world leaders to include the shipping sector in emissions-reduction schemes being developed at the Copenhagen summit in December (see A Copenhagen call to action).

The shipping industry is responsible for nearly 3 percent of global emissions but hasn’t been subject to previous emissions reductions agreements. Shipping emissions could grow by 150 percent to 250 percent from 2007 levels by maintaining business-as-usual practices because of growth in the sector, the study showed.

“Until now the shipping industry has managed to avoid the high levels of public scrutiny that the aviation sector has faced,” said Peter Lockley, Head of Transport Policy at the World Wildlife Fund-UK, in a news release. “This report confirms that shipping is a substantial source of emissions, but also demonstrates that the industry has nothing to fear from joining the global climate regime, and could actually make financial gains if it gets serious about addressing its carbon emissions.”

In April, state-owned and Mumbai-based Air India said its strict fuel-efficiency measures are expected to reduce annual fuel consumption by 12 billion U.S. gallons, saving $9 million

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