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New regulations on maritime emissions

  1. Apr 16, 2018 #1
    I stumbled on a recent article on the guardian newspaper: https://www.theguardian.com/environ...m-ships-at-sea-to-be-regulated-for-first-time

    I was wondering if that was realistic or just some sort of public relation stint. The regulation set a distant future date tu curb commercial ship's emissions by half. 2050

    How would you do that ?

    I heard about experiments with big kites or rotorships to reduce fuel consumption. But the savings were modest. Gas turbines would displace the pollution problem since natural gas extraction can pollute a lot. For example trough leaks of methane.

    Nuclear ships are heavily boycotted. The nucleophobe movement does not seem to do a pause. I am aware of only one nuclear cargo and a few icebreakers in service.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 16, 2018 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    As a general rule, I consider any plan that excludes nuclear power to be unserious. Considering that shipping (per the link) is only 2% of CO2 emissions, I consider discussion of it to be essentially pointless. CO2 emissions are still being driven primarily by the same economics and politics that has always driven them; very little due to concerted CO2 reduction effort.

    Case in point; the US is one of the world leaders in CO2 reduction, despite not ratifying any of the treaties. How? It happened primarily on it's own, because natural gas got cheap.
    I don't know if that last bit is true or not (I suspect not), but regardless, natural gas only emits about 25% less CO2 than diesel, so it can't get us to a 50% reduction (unlike replacing coal, where it gets you close).
  4. Apr 16, 2018 #3
    Reducing overall emissions of NOx, SOx, and particulates might be feasible. Sounds like they are not regulated now, so probably some low hanging fruit. But a 50 % reduction in carbon requires a large efficiency improvement, and that sounds tough.
  5. Apr 16, 2018 #4


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    So is that a reduction for international shipping, excluding coastal maritime, inland river and lake barges and the like.?
    Fishing boats?
    Pleasure boats?
    Cruise ships?

    If bunker oil is to be phased out for tankers and container vessels, then the port infrastructure for fueling needs a complete overhaul.
    Wonder how that is going to work out in 30 years.
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