Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security


International shipping carries 80 per cent of global trade by volume and over 70 per cent by value. This significant global activity comes with the concern that the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from international shipping lead to adverse effects on climate, human health and marine ecosystems. There have been international efforts to address this problem by improving regulation, principally by the United Nations (UN), the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the shipping industry, flag States and port States. The international climate change regime under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process and the IMO through its Marine Environment Protection Committee have been grappling with this issue, and GHG emissions from international shipping have been partially regulated by amendments to Annex VI to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL 73/78) in 2011 and 2014.

This thesis examines the evolution and adequacy of the current regulatory framework for the reduction of GHG emissions from international shipping. It discusses the applicability of international environmental law principles to the reduction of GHG emissions from ships and assesses the responses of the key stakeholders to the challenge of reducing GHG emissions. These responses and legal principles are then analysed to identify gaps in the regulatory framework. It concludes that there are deficiencies in the current legal, policy and institutional frameworks regulating GHG emissions from international shipping. The thesis proposes options for legal and institutional reforms to improve the regulatory framework for the reduction of GHG emissions from international shipping.



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.