Tackling Air Emissions
Shipping is one of the modes of transport with the lowest carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per distance and weight carried. Despite this, pollution derived from maritime shipping activities has profound implications for air and water quality and marine and estuarine biodiversity.
Different ship types, operational profiles, cargoes carried, fuels consumed, materials used, arrangements and control systems make vessels highly complex systems. As they move over the surface of the sea, their impacts on both air and water need to be addressed to achieve sustainability.
This is particularly relevant for the approximately 40% of Europeans who live within 50 kilometres of the coast, and who can be affected by air emissions produced by shipping.
Reducing greenhouse gases and air pollution is a primary goal at EU level. The European Green Deal provides the key policies and measures to address the current climate and environmental challenges. Within this context, the maritime community will need to adopt a new growth strategy to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases at least 40% below 1990 levels by 2030 and to move towards a carbon neutral maritime transport sector in 2050.
There are two main types of air emissions caused by shipping: greenhouse gases and air pollutants.