Sweden: Local shipping generates more emissions than domestic flights

Sweden’s domestic shipping emits almost twice the amount of emissions than was previously thought. In this picture, a ferry boat off the coast of the Swedish port city of Gothenburg, on November 17, 2017. (Ludovic Marin/AFP/Getty Images)
Sweden’s domestic shipping emits almost twice the amount of air pollution and greenhouse gases than previously thought.

A new measurement method shows that the correct figure is almost twice as large as the one previously calculated, meaning domestic shipping has a greater environmental impact than domestic flights, reports SVT News.

The Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI) has compiled the new figure, by tracking all vessels that go between Swedish ports with the help of GPS data.

“We see about twice as high fuel consumption from domestic shipping compared to what we previously thought, and thus twice as high emissions, says Fredrik Windmark, air quality expert at SMHI, to Radio Sweden.

According to the new survey method, domestic shipping accounted for 662,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2016, of which commercial traffic accounted for 488,000 tonnes with the remainder from recreational boats. This can be compared with domestic air traffic, which emits 554,000 tonnes.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: The Arctic shipping route no one is talking about, Cryopolitics Blog

Finland: Rise in overseas flights harms climate more than driving, report shows, Yle News

Norway: Electric planes could arrive sooner than we think in Norway, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Arctic flights save time, but fuel climate change, Cryopolitics Blog

Sweden: Growing number of Swedes choose train travel over flying to reduce pollution, Radio Sweden

United States: Blog – When the ice melts, what will happen to Arctic tourism?, Cryopolitics blog

David Russell, Radio Sweden

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