Reports, Case Studies & Assessments

Black Carbon Emissions and Fuel Use in Global Shipping, 2015


This report presents a bottom-up, activity-based global inventory of BC emissions, residual fuel use, and residual fuel carriage from commercial ships in the global fleet for the year 2015. Ship activity is based on exactEarth satellite Automatic Identification System (AIS) data paired with ship characteristic data from IHS Fairplay. The inventory is geospatially aggregated at a 1° x 1° resolution. Global emissions of other air and climate pollutants and the use and carriage of other fuels (distillate and liquefied natural gas [LNG]) are also estimated for the year 2015. Emissions include particulate matter (PM), sulfur oxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), and carbon dioxide (CO2).

In addition, the report analyzes the BC reduction potential of four technology scenarios: switching all ships from residual to distillate fuels; switching some ships from residual or distillate fuel to LNG; installing exhaust gas cleaning systems on ships; and installing diesel particulate filters (DPFs). The impacts of six policy alternatives are discussed, including expanding or establishing more Emission Control Areas (ECAs), prohibiting the use of residual fuel; establishing a BC emissions standard for ships; including BC in global ships GHG reduction strategies; promoting vessel scrappage; and promoting shore power. The report ends with an ambitious BC reduction policy recommendation that decision-makers can consider. It includes retrofitting cruise ships with DPFs or scrubbers; establishing ECAs in heavily trafficked and sensitive areas; increasing the use of shore power; and lowering the risks of BC and residual fuel in the Arctic.

Pollutants (SLCPs)