Low Carbon Shipping & Shipping in Changing Climates

A Research Led Consortium on Sustainable Shipping


Shipping in Changing Climates Conference 2017 - Registrations now open

Timetabled to take place a week before the London International Shipping Week 2017, 4th -5th September 2017, the Shipping in Changing Climates consortium’s fourth international conference in association with Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology (IMarEST), will present new research from academia and industry on the latest perspectives on shipping efficiency and emissions.

The conference is framed around ambitious GHG reductions that are required from shipping to keep its emissions in line with the temperature goals of the Paris Agreement. The Paris Agreement temperature goals limit the increase in global temperatures to no more than 2°C, aiming for 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and thus provides some direction as to the course of action that the shipping sector needs to take. The consortiums work to date shows that under both the 2°C and 1.5°C framing of climate change (emissions budgets), taking into account the latest IPCC and IMO studies, and shipping maintaining its current share of 2.3 per cent of global emissions, the shipping sector must halve its emissions by 2050 under the 2°C scenario and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 under the 1.5°C scenario. Translating this at the ship level, the aggregate average operational CO2 intensity for all ship sizes of containerships, tankers and dry bulk (which account for over 60 per cent of the shipping sector’s emissions) requires a reduction of 80-90 per cent on 2012 levels by 2050 in the 2°C scenario and net zero emissions in the 1.5°C scenario by 2045. 

Keeping the above ambition at the fore, the conference will have papers and presentations from both industry and academia in the following areas, modelling and analysis of the shipping system, alternative fuels, technologies and operations, future trade and transport demand for shipping, policies for accelerating a transition to a low carbon shipping system, finance, investment appraisal and removal of market barriers. 

The conference is organised by the Shipping Research Group at UCL Energy Institute, academic partners of the SCC consortium. 

For the provisional agenda click here.                     

Industry participants include: Shell, Lloyds Register, BMT, Maritime Strategies International, IMarEST, Silverstream Technologies, UMAS, SINTEF Ocean, Carbon War Room, Sustainable Shipping Initiative, Clarksons, Port of Rotterdam, KfW, IWSA, IMO and many others

REGISTER FOR THE CONFERENCE                                                                                                                                      In association with



Shipping in Changing Climates: Key research outputs & industry reflections, 11th September

Following the Shipping in Changing Climates consortium’s fourth international conference to held on 4-5th September at UCL, this free event open to all will present a summary of the key research outputs of the ~£4m project during the London International Shipping Week 2017

Academic partners of the SCC consortium will present the high-level outputs of the three themes of the project, followed by reflections from the SCC industry partners and other shipping stakeholders. This will be followed by a Q&A session and a networking reception.


New Report States Wind Technology Can Yield Up To 60% Fuel Savings For Ships

Carbon War Room and University College London (UCL) Energy Institute have published a paper reviewing the opportunities and barriers to the adoption of wind technology in the international shipping industry, as part of their joint Shipping Innovation Fast Tracker (ShIFT) program.

The study, published in the Journal of Marine Policy, is titled "Wind technologies: Opportunities and barriers to a low carbon shipping industry"and shows that economic barriers, such as risk and access to capital, are hindering adoption of this promising technology. Third-party capital, in combination with best-in-class data collection and analysis, offers one solution to overcoming these barriers.

The exact fuel savings that can be achieved via the adoption of such wind propulsion technologies will depend on the design of the ship (particularly the rig and hull), the operating speed, and the wind speeds and wind directions experienced along the ship’s route. Voyage simulation and modeling by UCL estimates that wind technologies can deliver fuel savings anywhere from 10–60%. Wind technologies can even allow older, less-efficient ships to operate competitively with new ships, especially along the busy shipping routes in the North Pacific, North Sea, and Southern Ocean that have favorable wind conditions.

The executive summary is available HERE

The full journal paper is available free to access HERE

Shipping in Changing Climates Conference 2016

10th - 11th November 2016, Newcastle University

Call for Papers and Presentations

Shipping in Changing Climates invites full papers and presentations from policy developers, marine technologists, operators and industry. Although the conference is focused on the Shipping Industry, it also welcomes contributions from other transport sectors on related topics, including:

    • Operating schemes to mitigate climate change
    • Technologies for energy efficiency

    • Alternative fuels

    • Design of environmentally friendly ships

    • Performance verification, monitoring and management

    • Optimisation of logistics

    • Policies, regulations and strategies for sustainable shipping

    • Measuring and mapping shipping emissions

    • Impact of energy prices on sustainable shipping

For more information and to submit your abstract please visit the conference website.

The deadline for abstract submission is 16th September 2016

New Report Shows Efficiency Doesn't Reward Owners

University College London (UCL) Energy Institute and Carbon War Room have published a report looking at the role of energy efficiency in vessel competitiveness by bringing together data on market dynamics and data on vessel operational patterns derived from the Automatic Identification System (AIS).

The research showed that vessels with higher design efficiency, as measured by the GHG Emissions Rating, save more fuel on average than design alone would indicate. This means, for example, that in 2012 the difference in fuel costs between a B-rated and an F-rated Capesize vessel was, on average, $5,500 per day, or nearly $1.5 million annually; a higher difference than would be anticipated based on design.

Despite this, efficient vessels do not appear to deliver significant rewards for anyone other than the fuel payer. In the time charter market, charterers appear to be reaping rewards when they choose vessels with high GHG Emissions Ratings, but owners of efficient ships do not share in the benefits. On average, there should be a fuel saving for charterers choosing vessels with high GHG Emissions Ratings, according to the study.  

The full report is available free to access HERE

New Report suggests shipping needs to start its decarbonisation imminently

Lloyd’s Register (LR) and Shipping in Changing Climates, a $4m multi-university and cross industry research project funded by EPRSC, has today released Low Carbon Pathways 2050 – a new study that details a number of potential pathways for the shipping industry’s transition to a low carbon future.

The report underlines the need for shipping to start its decarbonisation imminently – as stringency increases over time, increasingly high-cost mitigation steps are required. The later we leave decarbonisation, the more rapid and potentially disruptive it will be for shipping.

Key findings of the study include:

• Shipping will need to start its decarbonisation imminently – as stringency increases over time, increasingly high-cost mitigation steps are required. The later we leave decarbonisation, the more rapid and potentially disruptive it will be for shipping.
• All are ‘possible’ options for achieving absolute reductions of a scale and timeliness consistent with the Paris Agreement.
• A substitute for fossil fuel will still be required as energy efficiency improvements alone will not be sufficient in the medium to long term.
• Energy storage in batteries and renewable energy sources will have important roles to play, but are likely to still leave a requirement for a liquid fuel source.
• Additional regulations that may be developed for other emissions need to be considered, for example; methane, black carbon and particulate matter.
• Technological and operational characteristics are just some of the considerations that need to be taken into account.

Download the full report