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Shipping Emissions

Shipping Emissions in the German Baltic and North Sea Region—Impacts, Incentives, and Regulation


Ships contribute not only to the global carbon emissions problem, but they also emit sulphur oxides, nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter, thus affecting local air quality in big harbours or canals. Since these emissions are strictly regulated, many ships use exhaust gas cleaning systems to meet current regulations. In doing so they they alter ocean biogeochemistry. As a result of these complex issues, shipping emissions are increasingly gaining political relevance. Currently, the shipping sector contributes about 3 percent to global carbon emissions, with emissions projected to increase in the coming decades. Discussions on how to regulate the shipping sector’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions center around the question of whether this sector should be subject to an emission cap or whether it should be subject to some other means of reducing emissions, including market-based mechanisms.

Given the significant contribution of shipping emissions to local air pollution problems and to (global) climate change, the aim of the working group is to establish a transdisciplinary network of scientists and stakeholders from Northern Germany to a) develop a discussion forum for the identification of research gaps and b) to support co-designed, policy relevant research strategies to approach the problem.

Among others, the following questions are to be discussed:

  • “What science is needed to evaluate and assess policies and facilitate and legitimize transformation?
  • “How can governance and decision-making be aligned across different levels, issues, and places to manage global environmental change and promote sustainable development?”


Working group members

Dr. Wilfried Rickels, Kiel Institute for World Economy, Speaker

Dr. Christa A. Marandino, GEOMAR, Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research Kiel, Co-Speaker

Prof. Dr. Nele Matz-Lück, Walther Schücking Institute for International Law at the University of Kiel

Dr. Volker Matthias, Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht

Prof. Dr. Ralf Zimmermann, Helmholtz-Zentrum München / Universität Rostock

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Michael Thiemke, Flensburg University of Applied Sciences

Dr. Silke Beck, Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research

Ulrike Bernitt, Kiel Earth Institute



Time period: 2018 - 2019 (18 months)

Working group spokespersons:

Dr. Wilfried Rickels
Institute for the World Economy
e-Mail: wilfried.rickels@ifw-kiel.de

Dr. Christa A. Marandino
GEOMAR Helmholtz-Zentrum für Ozeanforschung Kiel
e-Mail: cmarandino@geomar.de 


Expected output:

  • Position Statement
  • Network
  • Participation of selected working group members at several congresses and the Global Economic Symposium in Kiel in 2019 (organization of a round table)
  • T 20 recommendation paper

Meetings (by invitation):

20.3.2018 (Kiel)

12./13.3.2019 Roundtable Discussion (Hamburg) Program

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