Emissions at sea Environmentalists have produced the striking calculation that world shipping now produces as much pollution as Germany, taking into account all that country’s power production, exhaust emissions and heating boilers. If the world’s merchant fleet was regarded as a country, it would be the state with the six largest emissions. The drive to cut carbon gases is now general. Until last week, shipping along with aircraft had enjoyed an exemption. But the International Maritime Organisation has agreed emissions will be reduced by a half from 2008 levels. While ships pollute, as fleets are renewed with modern, more efficient vessels, their emissions are set to come down.