23 Sep 2010 12:09:09
Shipping emissions 'could be 6 times higher than calculations'
Emissions from the shipping industry in the UK could be up to six times higher than current calculations suggest, according to new research.
A study by the University of Manchester suggests that changes must be made in the way that emissions from the shipping industry are calculated to get a more accurate picture.
Currently, the amount of carbon produced from shipping is worked out using figures related to the amount of fuel purchased at UK ports.
However, the report claimed that this does not accurately reflect emissions as many vessels refuel at nearby ports such as Rotterdam where fuel is cheaper.
Researchers at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research and the Sustainable Consumption Institute believe that it would be "fairer" to calculate emissions based on the levels of goods shipped to and from UK ports.
Using the current system, emissions from shipping amounted to seven megatonnes of carbon dioxide (MtCO2) in 2006, but using the new system this would increase to 31 MtC02 for imports or 42 MtCO2 for exports.
Dr Paul Gilbert, lecturer in climate change at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, said that efforts to cut shipping emissions are not keeping up with the sector's growth.
The UK-owned shipping fleet has increased in size by 200 percent since the year 2000.