Tuesday, 15 September 2020 14:46

Meet the Flagship: EMERGE project

Written by  Let's communicate!

At the National Coordinators' online meeting on 29-30 June 2020  EMERGE project under the Policy Area Ship was granted a Flagship status. Let’s get to know EMERGE and see what the project brings to the EUSBSR.

Cover photo: Peter Dam 

What is the EMERGE project about?

The aims of EMERGE are to quantify and evaluate the effects of potential emission reduction solutions for shipping in Europe for several scenarios and develop effective strategies and measures to reduce the environmental impacts of shipping. The project started Feb 1st 2020 and it will extend until Jan 31st 2024.

Specifically, the project will

  • Collect and synthesize experimental evidence on air emissions and waste streams of ships with potential emission control technologies,
  • Develop an integrated modelling framework to assess the combined impacts of shipping emission control options on the aquatic and atmospheric environments,
  • Deploy the developed modelling framework to assess the suitability, cost-effectiveness and potential impacts of a variety of shipping emission control scenarios to the marine environment, and
  • Provide recommendations and guidance for the stakeholders and decision-makers to significantly reduce marine pollution.


The scope and approach of the EMERGE project.


The EMERGE project includes extensive campaigns for water sampling both for scrubber effluents and marine background, as well as ecotoxicological testing of several sensitive species in the marine food webs. These results will be used together with modelling tools to evaluate the adverse effects of scrubbing to marine environment. The project addresses all the European sea regions.


Why is the project important for the EUSBSR?

The project addresses ‘the Deepening the Environmental Discussion’ – a topic identified as a future challenge to the BSR, especially one of the objectives of the EUSBSR – ‘Save the Sea’. It is part of the Policy Area Ship topic area.

According to the vision of clean shipping, the aim is to make maritime transport greener and cleaner. This can be achieved by, e.g., new technology, changed behaviour onboard ships or through regulations. Cleaner shipping requires concerted efforts of multiple measures, but could also contribute to potential side effects.

Reduction of air emissions from ships by using low sulphur fuels or emission abatement systems will have consequences to marine life, if air pollution is transferred to water pollution by using exhaust gas cleaning systems. Further, adjusting to tight emission restrictions may be facilitated by using low sulphur fuels or LNG, but these contribute also to greenhouse gas emissions. These examples illustrate that proposed regulations need to consider a wider perspective of impacts. In EMERGE, the main focus is on SOx scrubbers and the impacts of the resulting emissions to the air and discharges to the sea on marine life.

For the first time, air and water pollution will be studied together to identify benefits and drawbacks of changing regulations. This work, particularly, answers to the need to know, how harmful SOx scrubbing will be to the marine environment.



What does the flagship status mean to the project?

We expect that the flagship status will be of great significance for the project. This status will attract attention and visibility especially to the recommendations and guidance for the stakeholders and decision-makers.



Geographical distribution of EMERGE consortium partners (white stars) and international collaborators (white squares). The case study regions have been marked by white rectangles. 




This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement #874990 (EMERGE project). This work reflects only the authors’ view and INEA is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.


Read 2752 times Last modified on Friday, 18 September 2020 10:45