Shipping Emissions (2018-2019)

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
Expected output