Shipping steers a clear course on emissions

Shipping steers a clear course on emissions
13 June 2017

Pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions from shipping form a significant part of the overall air quality picture and are now included in national and international reporting obligations. Surrounded by some of the world’s busiest shipping lanes the UK is a particular focus, and Ricardo has been commissioned to deliver a
comprehensive update of the shipping emissions inventory for the UK National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory.

The 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change, reinforced a year later at the climate summit in Marrakech, has been the starting point for significant additional moves to help limit international greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. At the highest strategic level some 200 nations agreed to measure,
report and verify their emissions of GHGs: by cataloguing emissions from activities such as industry, agriculture, power generation and transport, countries establish their individual national GHG inventories, the first step towards applying targeted reductions. Ricardo's environmental division has been involved in such strategic initiatives for many countries.

On a more detailed level, Ricardo’s work also includes running the UK’s National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory (NAEI). Although the inventories that countries have to report under the Paris agreement do not need to include international shipping, for some nations – especiallyisland states such as the UK that are on busy shipping lanes – the reporting of purely inland sources is insufficient to provide a complete picture of atmospheric pollutants. Such is the intensity of shipping around Britain, through the English Channel and around some UK ports, that emissions that occur at sea are likely to have a significant effect on air quality in coastal communities on land; they can make a sizeable contribution inland too.

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