First IMO GHG study 2000

As an outcome of the 1997 MARPOL Conference, the decision to study CO2 emission from ship led to the launching of a complete study on the topic. Released in 2000, the first study constituted the initial step of deliberations about the development of new rules to address the GHG controls in shipping. This study, using data from 1996, estimated that ships emitted about 420 million tonnes of CO2 per year and thereby contributed about 1.8% of the world's total anthropogenic CO2 emissions that year.

The Study also stated that technical and operational measures have a limited potential for contributing to reduced emissions from ships if the increase in demand for shipping services and market requirement for increased speed and availability continued.

The main outputs of the study were:

  • Shipping is considered an efficient means of transportation compared to others.
  • It is difficult to assess with accuracy the overall impact of shipping - because of discrepancy in data concerning bunker figures and the uncertainties in the fuel consumption models.
  • The impact of air emission should include NOx, SOx and GHG emissions.
  • Significant reduction of GHG emission can be achieved through operational and technical measures. However, the increase in demand for shipping services may impede operational and technical savings.
  • Environmental indexing, market-based mechanisms and design standards may be appropriate measures to implement in the future.

Despite its relevance, no immediate regulation followed after the presentation of this study. The lengthy discussion on the IMO involvement and approach to the climate change necessitated an updated study” (IMO: Module 1 2016, 41-43.)