International shipping in a world below 2 °C

Eduardo Müller-Casseres, Florian Leblanc, Maarten van den Berg, Panagiotis Fragkos, Olivier Dessens, Hesam Naghash, Rebecca Draeger, Thomas Le Gallic, Isabela S. Tagomori, Ioannis Tsiropoulos, Johannes Emmerling, Luiz Bernardo Baptista, Detlef P. van Vuuren, Anastasis Giannousakis, Laurent Drouet, Joana Portugal-Pereira, Harmen Sytze de Boer, Nikolaos Tsanakas, Pedro R.R. Rochedo, Alexandre SzkloRoberto Schaeffer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The decarbonization of shipping has become an important policy goal. While integrated assessment models (IAMs) are often used to explore climate mitigation strategies, they typically provide little information on international shipping, which accounts for emissions of around 0.7 GtCO2 yr−1. Here we perform a multi-IAM analysis of international shipping and show the potential for decreasing annual emissions in the next decades, with reductions of up to 86% by 2050. This is primarily achieved through the deployment of low-carbon fuels. Models that represent several potential low-carbon alternatives tend to show a deeper decarbonization of international shipping, with drop-in biofuels, renewable alcohols and green ammonia standing out as the main substitutes for conventional maritime fuels. While our results align with the 2018 emission reduction goal of the International Maritime Organization, their compatibility with the agency’s revised target is still subject to a more definitive interpretation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)600-607
Number of pages8
JournalNature Climate Change
Issue number6
Early online date22 May 2024
Publication statusPublished - 22 May 2024


  • climate-chsnge mitigation
  • energy modelling
  • energy supply and demand


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