Current State and Methods of Marine Carbon Emissions MRV in the Shipping Sector
The shipping sector is a major contributor to global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In 2018, the sector was responsible for 2.9% of global CO2 emissions, or 940 million tonnes of CO2. This is more than the emissions of Germany, the world’s fifth-largest emitter.
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has set a goal of reducing the sector’s GHG emissions by 50% by 2050, compared to 2008 levels. In order to achieve this goal, the IMO has implemented a number of measures, including the Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) Regulation.
The MRV Regulation requires all ships above 5,000 gross tonnage to collect and report data on their fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. This data is then used to track the sector’s progress towards the IMO’s emissions reduction goals.
The regulatory framework for monitoring, reporting, and verifying marine carbon emissions is complex and multifaceted. At the global level, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has established mandatory requirements for all ships over 5,000 gross tonnage to collect and report data on their fuel consumption, distance traveled, and hours underway. This data is used to calculate the ship’s energy efficiency and carbon emissions, which are reported to the IMO’s Global Maritime Energy Efficiency Partnerships (GloMEEP) project.
At the regional level, the European Union’s (EU) Monitoring, Reporting, and Verification (MRV) regulation requires all ships calling at EU ports to monitor and report their carbon emissions. Similar regulations have been adopted in other regions, such as California’s Air Resources Board (CARB) and the China Maritime Safety Administration (MSA).
Current State of MRV in the Shipping Sector
The MRV Regulation came into force in January 2018. As of January 2023, over 10,000 ships have reported their data under the Regulation. This data shows that the shipping sector is making progress in reducing its GHG emissions.
The average CO2 emissions per tonne-mile of shipping decreased by 0.7% between 2018 and 2022. This is a significant improvement, given that the global volume of shipping increased by 3.2% during the same period.
However, there is still more work to be done. The IMO’s goal of reducing emissions by 50% by 2050 will require even more significant improvements in the sector’s energy efficiency.
Methods of MRV in the Shipping Sector
There are a number of different methods that can be used to collect and report data on fuel consumption and CO2 emissions from ships. The most common methods are:
- Automatic Identification System (AIS): AIS is a global tracking system that uses satellite-based technology to track the location and movement of ships. AIS data can be used to calculate fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
- Voyage data recorders (VDRs): VDRs are onboard devices that record a variety of data about a ship’s voyage, including its speed, position, and fuel consumption. VDR data can be used to calculate CO2 emissions.
- Manual fuel logs: Ships are required to keep manual logs of their fuel consumption. These logs can be used to calculate CO2 emissions.
The MRV Regulation allows ships to use any of these methods to collect and report data on their fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. However, the Regulation requires ships to use a consistent method for each voyage.
Benefits of MRV in the Shipping Sector
The MRV Regulation has a number of benefits for the shipping sector. These benefits include:
- Improved data collection: The MRV Regulation requires ships to collect and report data on their fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. This data can be used to improve the sector’s understanding of its emissions profile.
- Increased transparency: The MRV Regulation requires ships to publicly report their data on fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. This increases transparency in the sector and allows for better comparison of performance between different ships and operators.
- Enhanced accountability: The MRV Regulation requires ships to be accountable for their emissions data. This helps to ensure that ships are complying with the Regulation and that they are taking steps to reduce their emissions.
Challenges of MRV in the Shipping Sector
The MRV Regulation also faces a number of challenges. These challenges include:
- Cost: The MRV Regulation requires ships to invest in new technologies and procedures to collect and report data on their fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. This can be a significant cost for some ships.
- Complexity: The MRV Regulation is a complex regulation that can be difficult to understand and implement. This can be a challenge for some ships and operators.
- Compliance: The MRV Regulation is a new regulation and it is not yet clear how well it will be enforced. This could lead to some ships and operators not complying with the Regulation.
The MRV Regulation is an important step towards reducing the shipping sector’s GHG emissions. The Regulation has a number of benefits, including improved data collection, increased transparency, and enhanced accountability. However, the Regulation also faces a number of challenges, such as cost, complexity, and compliance. It remains to be seen how well the Regulation will be implemented and enforced. However, the Regulation is a positive step towards reducing the shipping sector’s impact on the environment.
- IMO, Third IMO GHG Study 2014
- European Union, Regulation (EU) No 2015/757
- International Council on Clean Transportation. (2019, February 14). The shipping industry’s greenhouse gas emissions: A global overview. Retrieved from https://www.icct.org/publications/shipping-industrys-greenhouse-gas-emissions-global-overview
- CARB, Marine Vessel Regulations
- United Nations Environment Programme. (2020, September 15). The shipping sector’s contribution to climate change. Retrieved from https://www.unep.org/explore-topics/climate-change/news-and-stories/shipping-sectors-contribution-climate-change
- China MSA, Implementation Scheme of the Data Collection System for Fuel Consumption of Ships