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 Low Carbon Shipping - A Systems Approach Final Report 2014 presents the key findings from each of the work packages of the LCS project that was funded by the Research Councils UK energy programme. The work undertaken in this project contributes towards an understanding of what the possible future trajectories of the industry will mean to the shipping system and the ships that service future transport demand.


Movement of Very Large Crude Carries (VLCC) in August 2011, as recorded by the Satellite Automatic Identification System (S-AIS). The velocity of the dots in the video reflects ship speed. The onboard S-AIS transponder electronically transmits ship information, location, and speed to satellite, which monitors and tracks ship locations for safety purposes.

This research was carried out as part of a project on maritime shipping efficiency, the results of which are reported in a report to the ICCT. The ICCT purchased the S-AIS data in 2011, researchers at University College London processed the data and Dr. Martin Austwick at UCL's Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis helped to make the video.


Lloyds Register and UCL Energy Institute published the Global Marine Fuel Trends 2030 in March 2014 discussing the prospects of the various marine fuels by 2030. The research behind the study started in 2010, in the RCUK Energy programme and industry funded 'Low Carbon Shipping - A Systems Approach' and a number of overlapping projects, that have produced GloTraM, described by Lloyds Register as the 'most sophisticated scenario planning model that exists for global 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

Latest publications

Title: Hidden Treasure: Financial Models for Retrofits 

Authors: Victoria Stulgis, Tristan Smith, Nishatabbas Rehmatulla, Joseph Powers, Jacob Hoppe

This report two promising financial models for the adoption of fuel efficiency and alternative fuel technologies, which profitably reduce both fuel costs and shipping GHG's.


Title: High Seas, High stakes

Authors: Alice Bows-Larkin, Sarah Mander, Paul Gilbert, Michael Traut, Conor Walsh, Kevin Anderson

This report serves to raise the profile of shipping decarbonisation by highlighting key research outputs from the EPSRC funded High Seas project.



Title: Executive summary for the Low Carbon Shipping - A Systems Approach project.

Authors: Tristan Smith, Sandy Day, Richard Bucknall, John Mangan, John Dinwoodie, Melanie Landamore, Osman Turan & Paul Wrobel.

This report summarises the key findings from the five work packages of LCS project that was funded by the Research Councils UK energy programme.


Title: On the attitudes and opportunities of monitoring and measurement and the identification and validation of energy efficiency and performance interventions

Authors: Isabelle Rojon & Tristan Smith. Report prepared for International Paint 

This study aims to develop and share knowledge and insight from a broad range of ship owners, operators and managers about the current views on energy efficiency solutions, the extent of fuel consumption monitoring, attitudes to its use.


Title: A new ship on the horizon? Report of a stakeholder workshop

Authors: Tyndall Centre, University of Manchester

This report suggests ways that shipping can achieve dramatic and rapid reductions in its CO2 emissions using various technologies.