According to the International Maritime Organization, the global shipping industry is responsible for around 2-3% of global greenhouse gas emissions, with the majority of those emissions being carbon dioxide. In 2018, it was estimated that the global shipping industry emitted around 1.12 billion tons of CO2 which is roughly equivalent to the emissions produced by 244 million cars driven for one year.
It is difficult to say exactly how many trees would be required to offset this amount of CO2 emissions, as it depends on a number of factors such as the species of tree, the location, and the specific method used for carbon sequestration. However, it is generally estimated that one mature tree can sequester around 21 pounds of CO2 per year. Using that estimate, it would take approximately 69 billion trees to offset 1.12 billion tons of CO2 emissions.
Even sulfur oxides (SOx) emissions from maritime merchant vessels are a significant contributor to air pollution. According to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the global shipping industry is responsible for around 80% of sulfur oxide (SOx) emissions from international transport.
It is difficult to provide an exact number for the tons of SOx emissions due to maritime merchant fleets in the world, as this can vary depending on the specific data sources and methodologies used. However, according to a 2019 report by the European Commission, the global shipping sector emitted approximately 13 million tons of SOx in 2012.
It’s difficult to compare the SOx emissions from maritime merchant vessels to those from cars, as the two types of vehicles emit different pollutants and have different emission standards.
SOx emissions from cars are relatively low compared to shipping, and the emissions standards are much more strict. SOx emissions from a car are virtually zero, as today’s car engines are equipped with catalytic converters, which can reduce SOx emissions to zero.