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The SEA-CASE (Spatially Explicit Analysis of Cargo Associated Maritime Shipping Emissions) project calculates and discloses the maritime shipping emissions per commodity and actor involved in the trade of any good to advance the decarbonization of the shipping sector.

Active project


Maritime shipping generates circa 2.5% of global emissions (about the same as the aviation sector), and it is estimated that it will contribute 17% of global emissions by 2050 unless further mitigation actions are taken. Numerous initiatives and commitments seek to curb these emissions considerably, whether for the entire transport sector in general or for maritime shipping in particular.

To achieve more sustainable maritime shipping and decrease the opacity of the sector, the SEA-CASE project calculates and discloses the maritime shipping emissions per commodity and actor (carrier, exporter, importer, country) involved in the trade of any good on the pilot platform Global Shipping Watch.

Video: Javier Godar

This information that has not previously been available, is a step-change in monitoring, reporting and verification of shipping emissions, and it is key to advance the decarbonization of the shipping sector. It can support ongoing efforts to reduce maritime shipping emissions, including associated to Sweden´s stated goal to decrease transport emissions by 70%, EC and IMO efforts to achieve considerable reductions of emissions in the maritime sector by 2050, and upcoming initiatives to include maritime shipping emissions more effectively in investment decisions (e.g. Poseidon Principles) and footprinting efforts.

Based on a peer-reviewed method co-developed by researchers at the University College London and SEI (Schim van der Loeff et al. 2018), which combines billions of records on vessel movements from AIS, cargo data per ship, and operational information per vessel, this project has two major goals:

  1. To pilot an online information system disclosing accurate emissions per vessel, trader, carrier, country and commodity. The approach and information system will be showcased for: i) the detailed emissions for the year 2019, disaggregated per commodity, vessel and cargo owner, of all maritime imports and exports of the USA, plus all exports from Brazil, Peru, Chile and a significant amount of global containership journeys; ii) the detailed analysis of emissions associated to all  Swedish ferry transport per passenger and kilometer, contributing to more informed discussions in Sweden on the environmental cost-effectiveness of using different transportation modalities as an alternative to airplanes.
  2. To effectively engage with maritime shipping sector actors, traders, investors, governments, researchers and policy-makers dealing with climate mitigation efforts, in order to discuss how the insights from the SEA-CASE platform can help advance the decarbonization of the maritime shipping sector. This includes piloting real-world applications of the SEA-CASE platform, as well as to ensure that relevant facts and insights from SEA-CASE are available for decision-making in key decarbonization efforts.

Some results from SEA-CASE will contribute the information already provided by Trase for specific commodities such as soy, palm oil or beef produced in tropical countries.

Project partner

Project funder

SEI team

Javier Godar
Javier Godar

Senior Research Fellow

SEI Headquarters

Vivian Ribeiro
Vivian Ribeiro

Senior Data Scientist

SEI Headquarters

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