On average, the shipping sector is responsible for 3% of annual global green-house gas emissions on a CO2-equivalent basis. International shipping represents around 9% of the global emissions associated with the transport sector.
This report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) explores the impact of maritime shipping on CO2 emissions, the structure of the shipping sector, and key areas that need to be addressed to reduce the sector's carbon footprint.
There is no clear-cut path to decarbonisation. Cutting CO2 emissions in half is therefore likely to require a combination of approaches, including the use of alternative fuels, upgrading of onshore infrastructure, and reducing fuel demand by improving operational performance, the report finds.
The shipping sector is strategically important for global efforts against climate change and could be crucial in the long-term shift to a zero-carbon economy. Large-scale deployment of low-carbon fuel infrastructure for shipping could also help to build the necessary momentum to decarbonise other sectors.