Decarbonizing Marine Shipping: Air Quality Co-Benefits for Coastal Communities

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Executive Summary

In collaboration with Clear Seas and funded by MEOPAR, a team led by researcher Dr. Amanda Giang at the University of British Columbia is undertaking a project to assess how decarbonization of marine shipping can provide air quality co-benefits to coastal communities.

The International Maritime Organization has set a target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from marine shipping to at least 50% by 2050, as compared to 2008 levels. In light of this target, this research explores to what extent achieving these goals will also reduce emissions of harmful pollutants – such as SOx, NOx, PM2.5 and VOCs – and in turn, benefit the health of coastal and port communities in Canada. To answer this question, the project will develop an integrated modelling framework that links policy scenario analysis, emissions and air quality modelling, and health impact analysis. 

As a first step, researchers are working with Clear Seas to document multi-sectoral expert opinions on future decarbonization pathways for the commercial marine shipping industry. This expert input will enable the development of future emissions scenarios for greenhouse gases and other air pollutants from ships. 

The survey component of the project is expected to be finished in summer 2021 with the full project complete in 2022.