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Shipping industry emits twice as much CO2 as aviation

Shipping industry emits twice as much CO2 as aviation

London: Carbon dioxide emissions from shipping are double those of aviation and increasing at an alarming rate which will have a serious impact on global warming, according to research by the industry and European academics, the UK's Guardian newspaper reported Saturday.

Two studies suggest shipping emissions could rise by as much as 75% in the next 15 to 20 years.

'The figures from the oil giant BP, which owns 50 tankers, and researchers at the Institute for Physics and Atmosphere in Wessling, Germany reveal that annual emissions from shipping range between 600 and 800m tonnes of carbon dioxide, or up to 5% of the global total. This is nearly double Britain's total emissions and more than all African countries combined,' the Guardian reported.

Putting fear into every shipowner the Guardian also noted how CO2 emissions from ships are not under the Kyoto protocol or any EU legislation, while their aviation cousins who total 2% of global emissions have been at the centre of the global warming debate.

Donald Gregory, director of environment at BP Marine, said this week that BP estimates that the global fleet of 70,000 ships uses approximately 200m tonnes of fuel a year and this is expected to grow to 350m tonnes a year by 2020.

'The International Maritime Organisation [IMO] needs to come up with an emissions strategy, or it will be down to us,' said Mr Gregory. 'Aviation is in the firing line now but shipping needs to take responsibility. There will be increasing pressure to do something.'

Without action the IMO predicts that by 2020, emissions from ships would increase up to 72%.  [05/03/07]