Effects of International Maritime Transport on Climate Change and Biodiversity

Up to the formation of mankind, the geographical features of the world have changed a several times. In certain periods, the climate has also changed considerably due to the deterioration of natural balance due to various reasons. These changes, which are related to natural factors, have been a negative influence by people from the middle of the 19th century to a large extent. The use of fossil fuels in land, air and marine transportation, deforestation, land use changes, cement production and industrial processes and the atmospheric accumulation of greenhouse gases released to the atmosphere have been increasing rapidly since the industrial revolution. This, in turn, strengthens the natural greenhouse effect and contributes to the increase of the earth’s surface temperature and climate change with the contribution of urbanization.

Climate change is at the forefront of environmental problems that threaten the world. The potential impacts of climate change expected to emerge in a global and regional sense of effects: agriculture, forests, clean water resources, sea level, energy, human health and biodiversity. It also requires that all countries have the necessary sensitivity to international cooperation in taking necessary precautions against global climate change, even though climate changes have not been fully experienced anywhere in the world, but will cause a number of chained effects in economic, ecological and social life.

Parallel to the growth in the world economy, the demand for sea transportation is increasing day by day. Ninety percent of world trade is carried out by sea transport. Without maritime transport, intercontinental trade, bulk cargo transport, processed food and import / export of goods will not be possible. The transportation sector plays an important role in climate change and global warming as one of the key sectors leading to the emission of carbon dioxide (CO2), the main greenhouse gas. In other sectors that lead to CO2 emissions, for example energy production, manufacturing industry, heating in residences, etc., energy efficiency has been increased and emissions have been reduced significantly. However, there has been no net reduction in the transport sector; CO2 emissions have also increased in total due to the continuous increase in freight and passenger traffic.

Emissions from the global maritime industry are around 1 billion tons annually. It is necessary to reduce all emissions including carbon dioxide (CO2) from ships. In contrast, neither market-based nor coercive agreements have been adopted, which will help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from ship industry and ship transportation. For this reason, making regulations in this respect is important in the context of combating climate change.

Sea-going transport not only affects climate change but also negatively affects biological diversity. Fuel wastes, especially from ships, cause pollution of the seas and therefore threaten biological diversity in the seas. Many plants, animals and living organisms live in the seas. Negative influences of these creatures will cause the ecological equilibrium in the world to deteriorate. Protecting this diversity is therefore of great importance to the international community. In this respect, determining the adverse effects of maritime transport on both climate change and biological diversity is a great necessity to overcome these effects. In this study, the effects of maritime transport on climate change and biodiversity will be determined, suggestions will be made to solve the problems on this issue and the international community will be tried to attract attention.


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