Decarbonising the Global Shipping Industry: Examining the Role of National and International Law

About 80% of transnational trade depends on shipping, thereby making shipping the backbone of global trade and global economy. Consequently, the demand in shipping services has been on the increase. Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have thus been at an upward rise due to rising global trade. In fact, shipping conveniently takes an important place as a principal contributor to the GHG emissions in the world, accounting for 3 percent of the total CO2 emissions. There is, therefore, a growing pressure to reduce GHG emissions (decarbonisation) from all sectors including the shipping industry. The paper is therefore a critical examination of the extant national and international legal regimes on the decarbonisation of the world’s shipping industry. While conceding to the fact that effort to decarbonize the shipping industry is confronted by a multitude of challenges, the paper submits that the prospects for decarbonizing the shipping industry are promising provided the necessary legislative review and revision are done.