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Examines in Marine Biology & Oceanography

The Role of International Shipping in Mitigation of Global GHG Emissions: The Need for a Broader Perspective

Maricruz Fun Sang Cepeda*

Ocean Engineering, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

*Corresponding author: Maricruz Fun Sang Cepeda, Ocean Engineering, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Submission: September 27, 2022;Published: October 11, 2022

DOI: 10.31031/EIMBO.2022.05.000602

ISSN 2578-031X
Volume5 Issue1


The maritime transport industry is undergoing a green transformation, looking at everything from more efficient hull shapes, new propulsion systems, and alternative carbon-neutral fuels such as hydrogen or ammonia. The international maritime organization has set ambitious goals for decarbonization in the 2030 and 2050. Even if shipping is one of the most cost-efficient transport modes, this goal leads to one of the most challenging periods for this sector, [1]. Moreover, the maritime sector is part of a much broader global energy system. As such, effective climate mitigation strategies for shipping should consider its important interlinkages with other economic sectors - otherwise, the mitigation of maritime GHG emissions could imply rebound effects associated, for example, with land-use change, oil refining, or the power sector, potentially harming the achievement of overall climate goals. In addition, increasing costs of international shipping can also affect global trade and result in the production of goods and services with lower productivity, [2]. This can lead to rebound effects on global GHG emissions when the carbon intensity increases due to the suboptimal use of productivity factors. Many studies on the decarbonization of shipping have relied on sectoral models that focus only on vessel emissions. Similarly, the 2050 cutback target established by the IMO in 2018 touches only on shipping direct emissions. Considering the interdependence between shipping and the rest of the energy system, this strategy alone could be ineffective, potentially entailing spillover effects [3-5].

The Galápagos Islands, located in the Pacific Ocean surrounding the center of the Western Hemisphere, 906km west of continental Ecuador. The Galápagos are a series of volcanic islands, consist of 18 main islands, three smaller islands, and 107 rocks and islets. The Islands considered an extraordinary natural laboratory that was declared World Heritage by UNESCO, and it is one of the most famous destinations in the world for observing wildlife. The Islands are one of the world’s premier ecotourism destinations, and that Galapagos tourism contributes hundreds of millions of dollars to Ecuador’s national economy. Galápagos Islands planning a public policies of less carbon emissions on 2040. Some authors say that globally achieve zero carbon in 2050 is not possible, but the accumulate measures that Galapagos government implement could emit less pollution. The region and the action plan that this government do could incentive other countries of the region. Galápagos Islands are a big laboratory to experiment some theories about climate change and all the strategies could take inside the Islands corroborated that, [6-8].

To better understand the role of shipping in climate mitigation, a broader perspective is required. In this sense, Integrated Assessment Models (IAM) can be a useful tool. IAMs are modelling tools (generally containing a detailed representation of the energy, land use, and agricultural systems of a region) used to develop overall long-term mitigation strategies. As such, an IAM-based analysis can provide a systemic view of the problem indicating, for example, whether specific alternative fuel strategies for a certain sector may lead to effective mitigation or to an increase in overall emissions. In the case of the shipping sector, which connects regions and industries, an analysis of this type could greatly contribute to the assessment of spillover risks and the design of appropriate fuel switch pathways [9].


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