06 Feb 2018

Environmental Impacts of Marine SO2 Emissions

Report no. 1/18: This report details work that was carried out to study the impact of emissions from international shipping on air quality, with a focus on sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions. Emission inventories are discussed and put into perspective versus emissions from natural sources. Air quality modelling tools have been used to assess impacts on air quality in EU countries as a function of distance from shore of shipping emissions.

This work demonstrates that, compared to further land based emission reductions, it is generally not cost-effective to reduce emissions from shipping outside of coastal zones. Options to reduce fuel sulphur levels as a route to mitigate SO2 emissions from international shipping are compared with the use of on board techniques to remove SO2 from the exhaust gas stream. Finally the likely climate impact of such mitigation actions are assessed.

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