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Report: IMO 2020 could indirectly contribute to 323 million mt/yr increase of CO2 emissions

20 Apr 2022

A research paper published in the Transportation Research journal during January 2022 found the IMO 2020 regulatory change may have backfired by indirectly leading to an increase in global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of up to 323 million mt per year. 

It said 323 million mt per year corresponds roughly to 30% of total global shipping CO2 emissions or 1% of total global CO2 emissions.

This was one of the key results of the study in the recently published paper “Indirect CO2 emissions caused by the fuel demand switch in international shipping”. 

The research paper was conducted by Gustav Krantz, Miguel Brandao, Mikael Hedenqvist, Fritjof Nilsson from KTH Royal Institute of Technology.

“Unfortunately, adaptation in the form of intensified refining efforts can increase the output ratio of low sulphur oil products and can also cause increased crude oil demand,” it said. 

The research goal investigates how adaptive measures to the fuel switch in international shipping impacts crude oil demand and consequentially, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. 

The researchers said to their knowledge, this is the first study observing a fuel transition, from high sulphur fuel oil (HSFO)/heavy fuel oil (HFO) to  diesel in the maritime industry, can lead to a significantly increased global crude oil demand, which most probably will cause increased total CO2 emissions as crude oil extract will ultimately fully oxidise.

Note: The full research paper ‘Indirect CO2 emissions caused by the fuel demand switch in international shipping’ can be downloaded from the link here.


Photo credit: Patrick Hendry on Unsplash
Published: 20 April, 2022

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