The causal relationships among marine energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping, and economic growth for Kyoto Protocol Annex I countries for the period of 1990 to 2006 are discussed. The real gross domestic product is used as a proxy for economic activity. The United States is also discussed because it was the main global polluter before 2006. The co-integration methodology and an error-correction model are used to examine the causal relationships. The empirical results show that marine energy consumption and GDP are the main factors of increased GHG emissions in the short-run, and that economic activity significantly increased emissions in the long-run. Emissions from shipping are more closely related to marine energy consumption than to economic activity. Hence, policies for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from marine shipping need to focus on greater energy efficiency in the design of ship engines and hulls.
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