03 March 2007

Kyoto Maritime Loophole

Exposé from today's Guardian:

Carbon dioxide emissions from shipping are double those of aviation.

Separate studies suggest that maritime carbon dioxide emissions are not only higher than previously thought, but could rise by as much as 75% in the next 15 to 20 years if world trade continues to grow and no action is taken. 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.

Carbon dioxide emissions from ships do not come under the Kyoto agreement or any proposed European legislation.

Aviation carbon dioxide emissions, estimated to be about 2% of the global total, have been at the forefront of the climate change debate because of the sharp increase in cheap flights, whereas shipping emissions have risen nearly as fast in the past 20 years but have been ignored by governments and environmental groups. Shipping is responsible for transporting 90% of world trade which has doubled in 25 years.


Sceptic said...

So now I'm not supposed to go on a cruise, let alone fly or drive, either?! Despite the politicians' claim that the day of the IPCC's latest report "may be remembered as the day the question mark was removed from whether people are to blame for climate change," the scientists involved clearly think otherwise. Not only was the published report merely the summary for policymakers, not the actual science, but the New Scientist revealed that the IPCC's review process was so rigorous that research deemed controversial, not fully quantified or not yet incorporated into climate models was excluded. Scientists horrified at the politicisation of their work leaked the full draft report to Junk Science, asking "What kind of 'science' distributes a summary and then withholds the underlying report for a further three months editing to make it concur with the already distributed summary?" The IPCC's latest "worst case scenario" prediction for global warming is now half what it was in the 2001 report - so, contrary to the media's alarmist spin, things aren't as bad as we were being warned at the turn of the century. But "The end of the world may not be nigh after all" isn't going to sell many papers or justify a new welter of green tax increases, is it?