Press release 21.4.2016

An accurate inventory of ship traffic emissions for the European sea areas

Novel inventory of shipping emissions has been made for whole Europe. The inventory has been compiled using a model that uses the Automatic Identification Signals of ships in determining their location and movements. The inventory is therefore versatile, detailed and accurate, compared with the previously available inventories.

Emissions originating from ship traffic in European sea areas were modelled using the Ship Traffic Emission Assessment Model (STEAM), which uses Automatic Identification System data to describe ship traffic activity. We report the emission totals, the seasonal variation, the geographical distribution of emissions, and their disaggregation between various ship types and flag states.

The total ship emissions of CO2, NOx, SOx, CO, and PM2.5 in Europe for year 2011 were estimated to be 121, 3.0, 1.2, 0.2, and 0.2 million tons, respectively. The emissions of CO2 from the Baltic Sea were evaluated to be more than a half (55 %) of the emissions of the North Sea shipping; the combined contribution of these two sea regions was almost as high (88 %) as the total emissions from ships in the Mediterranean.

As expected, the shipping emissions of SOx were significantly lower in the SOx Emission Control Areas, compared with the corresponding values in the Mediterranean. Shipping in the Mediterranean Sea is responsible for 40 and 49% of the European ship emitted CO2 and SOx emissions, respectively.  The study reported significantly smaller emissions of NOx, SOx, and CO for shipping in the Mediterranean than the EMEP inventory; however, the reported PM2:5 emissions were in a fairly good agreement with the corresponding values reported by EMEP. The vessels registered to all EU member states are responsible for 55% of the total CO2 emitted by ships in the study area. The vessels under the flags of convenience were responsible for 25% of the total CO2 emissions.

More information:

Dr. Jukka-Pekka Jalkanen,, tel. +358 50 919 5455

Prof. Jaakko Kukkonen,, tel. +358 50 520 2684