Decreasing Shipping’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions


The maritime sector has for a long time remained outside of strict environmental regulations. In this case we look at shipping’s general environmental effects and then, in particular, at the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of shipping. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted an initial strategy on the reduction of GHG emissions from ships, setting out a vision of reducing carbon intensity from international shipping by 40% by 2030, and 70% by 2050, compared with 2008 levels. To be able to achieve these carbon neutrality targets, a substantial share of the worldwide fleet must be carbon neutral by 2050. Shipping vessels have a long lifespan of 20–30 years in operation, which means that vessels that are already built must emit much less carbon than their predecessors. In the case, we discuss alternative actions to decrease GHG emissions produced through shipping.

This case was prepared for inclusion in SAGE Business Cases primarily as a basis for classroom discussion or self-study, and is not meant to illustrate either effective or ineffective management styles. Nothing herein shall be deemed to be an endorsement of any kind. This case is for scholarly, educational, or personal use only within your university, and cannot be forwarded outside the university or used for other commercial purposes.

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