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EEA Report Highlights Shipping’s Impact on Air Quality and Climate Change

EEA14 March 2013: The European Environment Agency (EEA) has released a technical report that provides an overview on the state of knowledge on the impact of international shipping in European waters on air quality and climate change. The report calls for addressing both air pollution and greenhouse gases (GHGs) in an integrated manner.

The report, titled “The Impact of International Shipping on European Air Quality and Climate Forcing,” includes sections on: overview of the shipping sector and environmental legislation; monitoring and modeling of shipping activity and emissions; European maritime emissions inventories and projections; emissions from maritime transport and air quality; and climate change.

The report finds that: European maritime emissions are a significant share of global ship emissions of GHGs; European shipping emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) are projected to equal land-based sources from 2020; shipping emissions contribute to local air quality problems; and at a global scale, ship emissions of both air pollutants and GHGs have a net cooling effect.

The report concludes that an integrated European-wide system for monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) for emissions by the shipping sector of both air pollutants and GHGs is essential to addressing climate change and air quality in a comprehensive manner. [Publication: The Impact of International Shipping on European Air Quality and Climate Forcing] [EEA Press Release]