The carbon emissions from international maritime shipping could increase by 250% in the period to 2050 if it left unchecked, an assessment by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has revealed.

In the fourth edition of the Global Shippers’ Forum (GSF) Maritime Emissions policy briefing, it stated that the present carbon emissions from maritime shipping represents up to 2.2% of the global total.

The latest briefing also assessed the new developments within maritime emission policy and the sector’s role in minimising carbon emissions.

According to GSF secretary general Chris Welsh, the shippers’ views need to be considered as the IMO puts efforts to reduce emissions and the EU begins to review the technical details of its proposed MRV regulation.

"Shipping already offers a high carbon efficient mode for transporting goods, carrying approximately 90% of all world trade."

Welsh said: "Shipping already offers a high carbon efficient mode for transporting goods, carrying approximately 90% of all world trade.

"However, it is predicted to grow significantly in pace with world trade and currently has no regulatory mechanism to restrain the future growth of greenhouse gas emissions."

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By GlobalData

He also said that the shippers have made considerable progress when it comes to carbon emissions, with the support of voluntary schemes that developed by the clean cargo working group.

Welsh added that the methodology developed by such groups for measuring, reporting and verifying emissions should be considered by the EU and IMO as a starting point for their regulatory initiatives.

In April, the European Parliament approved the draft EU rules that demand ship owners using EU ports to monitor and report CO2 emissions each year.

The new rules will come into effect from 2018 for ships of more than 5,000gt, regardless of the country in which they are registered.