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International shipping

In April 2018, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) agreed to reduce GHG emissions by at least 50% by 2050 compared with a 2008 baseline, with carbon intensity reduction targets for 2030 and 2050.

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Key findings

Energy intensity of international shipping in the Net Zero Scenario, 2015-2030

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Existing regulations on energy efficiency fall short of long-term targets

The newly approved technical and operational measures established by the IMO are not sufficient to curb GHG emissions from international shipping in the long term. The short-term measures entail an average annual efficiency improvement of the global vessel fleet (measured as emissions per tonne-kilometre) of almost 2% between 2020 and 2030. This is only slightly better than the historical average annual improvement rate of 1.6% between 2000 and 2017. Average annual improvements of more than 4% to 2030 are required to put international shipping on the Net Zero Emissions pathway.