In April 2018, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) agreed to reduce GHG emissions by at least 50% by 2050 compared with a 2008 baseline, with carbon intensity reduction targets for 2030 and 2050.
In 2021 emissions from the international shipping sector grew by 5%, rebounding from the sharp decline in 2020 to reach 2015 levels. To get on track with the Net Zero Scenario, total emissions will need to remain steady to about 2025, despite an expected increase in activity, and then begin decreasing by about 3% per year to 2030 (resulting in a total decrease of over 15% from 2025 to 2030).
Innovation is vital to ensure that zero-emission oceangoing vessels are made commercially available by the mid-2020s. The stringency of existing policies from the International Maritime Organization (IMO), such as operational emissions intensity standards, needs to be increased to ensure significant emission reductions and to encourage the adoption of low- and zero-carbon fuels and technologies for oceangoing vessels.
Last updated Oct 4, 2022
CO2 emissions from international shipping in the Net Zero Scenario, 2000-2030
CO2 emissions from international shipping began rebounding in 2021 from a dip in 2020
In 2021 international shipping accounted for ~2% of global energy-related CO2 emissions. While measures approved by the International Maritime Organization are likely to curb the rise of emissions over the 2020s, greater policy ambition is needed to steer the maritime shipping sector onto the pathway in the Net Zero Emissions by 2050 Scenario, which entails an almost 15% reduction in emissions from 2021 to 2030. Technological innovation, supportive policies and collaboration across the value chain are needed to drive the adoption of low- and zero-carbon fuels and technologies for oceangoing vessels.