Low Carbon Shipping & Shipping in Changing Climates

A Research Led Consortium on Sustainable Shipping


Low Carbon Shipping

Low Carbon Shipping – A Systems Approach, was a research project that started in January 2010 and ended in June 2013 funded by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (£1.7m) and a number of industry partners. In addition to the research that was undertaken at the five universities including University College London, Newcastle University, University of Strathclyde, University of Hull and University of Plymouth, the project was supported by substantial in-house research and data from the consortium members from industry, NGO and government departments, including Shell, Maersk, Rolls Royce, BMT and Lloyds Register. Read more


Research highlights

The award winning interactive shipping map has been developed by the UCL Energy Institute and London-based data visualisation and digital journalism studio Kiln, and was funded by the European Climate Foundation. It is based on hundreds of millions of individually recorded ship positions; plotting all of these at once shows the extraordinary extent of modern shipping’s reach.


Lloyd’s Register (LR) and Shipping in Changing Climates released Low Carbon Pathways 2050 – a new study that details a number of potential pathways for the shipping industry’s transition to a low carbon future. The report underlines the need for shipping to start its decarbonisation imminently – as stringency increases over time, increasingly high-cost mitigation steps are required. The later we leave decarbonisation, the more rapid and potentially disruptive it will be for shipping.


Shipping in Changing Climates

Shipping in Changing Climates is a recently initiated research project funded by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (£3.5m funded for 3.5 years), Lloyds Register, Rolls Royce, Shell, BMT and MSI . The SCC project seeks to understand the scope for greater energy efficiency of the supply side, understand the demand side drivers and understanding the supply and demand interactions in shipping. The multi-university, multi-disciplinary systems research project will use ‘big data’ sources such as the Satellite AIS data, ship level smart data, to which the consortium has unparalleled access aswell as combining quantitative with qualitative research methods in which the consortium has a solid background. Read more

Featured publications

Smith et al. (2016) CO2 emissions from international shipping: Possible reduction targets and their associated pathways

Scott et al. (2016) The promise and limits of private standards to reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions from shipping

Prakash et al. (2016) Revealed preferences for energy efficiency in shipping markets

Rehmatulla & Calleya (2016) The implementation of technical energy efficiency measures in shipping submitted by IMarEST and RINA (MEPC 69/INF.8)

Schaumeier et al. (2015) Investigating shipping behaviour in emission control areas: A visual approach to data analysis

Rehmatulla & Smith (2015) CO2 emission targets for shipping

Rehmatulla (2015) Assessing the implementation of technical energy efficiency measures in shipping

Parker et al. (2015) Understanding the Energy Efficiency Operational Indicator: An empirical analysis of ships from the Royal Belgian Shipowners Association

Stulgis et al. (2014) Hidden treasure: Financial models for retrofits

Rojon & Smith (2014) On the attitudes and opportunities of fuel consumption monitoring and measurement within the shipping industry

Smith et al. (2014) Third IMO GHG Study 2014 - Final Report

Smith et al. (2014) Low Carbon Shipping - A Systems Approach Executive Summary

Smith et al. (2014) Low Carbon Shipping - A Systems Approach - Full report

Bows-Larkin et al. (2014) High seas, High Stakes

High Seas (2013) A new ship on the horizon?

Smith et al. (2013) Assessment of shipping’s efficiency using satellite AIS data 

Rehmatulla (2012) Barriers to uptake of operational measures