Framework to evaluate external costs of shipping
Report, 2019

The activities that utilize the marine environment are today many, ranging from oil and natural gas extraction, to fishing and aquaculture to renewable energy installations and finally shipping and leisure boating. Thus, there is a need to understand the pressures and impacts from the different sectors on the marine environment to ensure sustainable use of marine resources. One framework to study this is the ecosystem service approach where the benefit the natural environment supply to human society via economic and social benefits, are mapped and assessed as well as the associated
costs of environmental degradation due to different human activities (Beaumont et al. 2007).
Ecosystem conditions refers to the physical, chemical and biological condition of an ecosystem at a particular point in time. In EU, member states are obligated to monitor the condition (or status) of both freshwater and marine ecosystems. This is regulated via two EU Directives; the Water Framework Directive (WFD, 2000/60/EC) which covers freshwater, transitional and coastal waters up to 1 nm from the continental baseline and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD, 2008/56/EC) which handles all marine waters up to the Exclusive Economic Zone. The overarching aim of both WFD and MSFD is that all water bodies in the EU shall reach or maintain god status of waters, habitat and resources. This condition is termed “Good Ecological Status” (GEcS) in the WFD and “Good Environmental Status” (GES) in the MSFD. The status and conditions of ecosystems are also strongly linked to human well-being through ecosystem services as ecosystems need to be in good status in order to provide multiple ecosystem services (Pandeya et al. 2016).
Shipping is an activity responsible for a range of different pressures affecting the marine environment via discharge of hazardous compounds from greywater, bilge water, scrubber water and antifouling paints; emission of nutrients from blackwater, greywater, food waste and deposition of nitrogen oxides (NOX); emissions of acidifying compounds from scrubber wash-water and deposition of sulphur oxides (SOX); spread of invasive species from hulls or ballast water; and finally, underwater noise.
Shipping also affect air quality, human health, and global warming via air pollutants with transboundary properties such as fine particulate matter (PM), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), nitrogen oxides (NOX), sulfur oxides (SOX). Emissions to air of black carbon and greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) are also important for the global warming impact. The knowledge about ecosystem and health impacts of air pollution is comparatively well developed, much because land-based emissions of air pollutants have been regulated in international and national regulations since the 80-ies in a tight science-policy regime.
Since the 80-ies, analytical progress has been substantial in areas such as air pollution inventories and monitoring, emission dispersion modelling, as well as integrated assessment modelling of cost effective international air pollution control. Since the 90-ies, these analytical progresses have been
complemented with additional interest from environmental economists as well as health researchers. Currently, the effect of large-scale air pollution emission changes on ecosystem-, human health-, and economic impacts can be modelled with reasonable accuracy, and analysis of these impacts are done with established methods and models. Due to the transboundary nature of air pollution emissions, emissions are governed not only by national legislation but also by international legislation and agreements. Some examples of high relevance for shipping emissions are the revised EU Sulphur-in-fuels / Fuel Quality Directive (Directive No 1999/32/EC & 2009/30/EC) and the International Maritime Organisations’ (IMO) use of sulphur and nitrogen emission control areas (SECA and NECA respectively) as well as limits on sulphur content in fuel (IMO 2017).

Although shipping emission impacts on air quality are relatively well established, the knowledge base is not the same for impacts on the marine environment and a coherent environmental impact assessment of shipping has not yet been made. This risk policies to be biased towards air pollution
whilst trading off impacts on marine environments. Therefore, it is important that we gain a better understanding on how shipping and other sectors affect marine ecosystems, as the pressure on marine resources and the demand for marine ecosystem services in many marine water bodies are
too high. The focus of this report is the shipping industry and to assess what damage it may cause on human health, marine ecosystems and the climate. Determining the total impact of shipping is a complex task, primarily with respect to marine ecosystems, as the water emissions is very diverse
ranging from hazardous compounds, acidifying substances, underwater noise, eutrophying substances to invasive species.
The aim of this report is to develop a framework to determine how different pressures from shipping affect ecosystem services and human health, with an emphasis on marine environment due to larger knowledge gaps in this area. The framework could in a later stage be used to determine the resulting
cost for society due to shipping induced degradation of ecosystem services and impacts on human health and climate.


Erik Ytreberg

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Maritime Studies

Stefan Åström

IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute

Erik Fridell

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Maritime Studies

IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute

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