Scientists at the University of Manchester shipping and climate change: scope for unilateral action have found that emissions for the industry are calculated using fuel purchased at UK ports.

However, the team from the university’s Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, believe this is a misleading statistic as the majority of vessels refuel at nearby ports, such as Rotterdam in Holland, where prices are lower.

The scientists say the level of CO2 emissions released by commercial ships involved with UK trade, provides a ‘fairer representation’ of UK shipping emissions than fuel sold.

If this form of monitoring was used the UK’s CO2 emissions from shipping would increase significantly and, the team claim, could possibly be higher than the UK aviation industry.

Lecturer in climate change and report author, Dr Paul Gilbert, said: “Tackling climate change requires urgent emission reductions across all sectors.

“Unfortunately up until now, global efforts to reduce shipping emissions have been slow, and are not keeping up with the pace of growth of the sector.

“This report explores the potential for the UK to take national measures to reduce its share of shipping emissions to complement any future global or EU action.”

Luke Walsh

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