GHG Emission Reduction in European Maritime Transport

GHG emission reduction potential of EU-related maritime transport and its impacts

The reduction of GHG emissions is an important goal set in the EU 2020 Strategy and the Commission's flagship initiative, the Transport White Paper.

In line with the Transport White Paper, this study provides insight into the development of GHG emissions from maritime transport, the dynamics in the sector leading to these emissions, and the measures (both inside and outside of the sector) that can be taken to reduce GHG emissions. This includes various consequence scenarios, e.g. including maritime transport in the EU ETS system. We calculated costs and savings of these measures on the sector and the possible consequences for other sectors and the world economy.

The overall objective was to identify the marginal GHG abatement costs in the maritime sector and the ‘no-regret’ GHG reduction potential up to 2030. More specifically the objectives were:

  • To prepare abatement cost curves for a number of shipping segments, for EEA port-related segments and for the overall EEA-related maritime transport, for measures related to the design, technical properties, and operation of ships
  • To determine the GHG reduction potential for various consequence scenarios of including maritime transport in the EU ETS as part of an open system
  • To determine the impact of this inclusion on the price level of emission permits
  • To perform a sensitivity analysis on a range of relevant parameters, including GDP growth; the geographical distribution, fuel type and price variations, and design improvements for existing and new ships; and the operational energy efficiency of new ships.

This resulted in the development of a reference scenario and CO2 abatement scenarios for global and EU-related maritime transport from 2012 to 2030. The reference scenario included the analysis of the transportation volume, the economic growth rate (4.25% global and 1.55% for Europe annually) and the development of ship specifications (growth of average ship size, implementation of EEDI, and implementation LNG as a fuel). The abatement scenarios were based on Marginal CO2 Abatement Costs Curves for ten individual vessel categories.





funded by

European Commission, DG Climate Action


Joko Alloysius Purwanto, Griet De Ceuster


TNO (The Netherlands) as  coordinator, MARINTEK (Norway), ISL (Germany) and TML.


Joko Purwanto

+32 16 31.77.37
reference: 13.33