The Environment Agency (EEA), supported by its European Topic Centre on Air Pollution and Climate Change Mitigation (ETC/ACM) has prepared a Techincal Report on the impact of international shipping on European air quality and climate forcing. Due to its dependence on fossil fuel combustion and the fact that it is one of the least regulated anthropogenic emission sources, emissions from the marine transport sector contribute significantlyto air pollution and climate change.
Key finding of the report focus on the importance of emissions compared to other sectors;present and future air quality issues; and, the contribution of the sector to present day and future climate forcing. Emissions from maritime transport in European waters constitute a significant share of worldwideship emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases.
The sector’s environmental impact is significant as emissions such as carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogenoxides (NOX), sulphur dioxide (SO2) and particulate matter (PM2.5) from shipping occurring in European waters can contribute up to 10-20 % of overall worldwide shipping emissions.