In its “Europe 2020” strategy, the European Union (EU) has committed itself to ambitious climate action. In this spirit the EU envisages inter alia the implementation of mechanisms reducing carbon emissions of shipping. Moreover, it has pointed out the need to take autonomous actions to reduce carbon emissions from maritime transport if no such action is agreed timely on a global basis within the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). Recently the EU has started assessing how shipping emissions can be reduced effectively and cost efficiently. Against this backdrop the project was dedicated to three main research questions. How must a regional instrument aiming at reducing shipping emissions be designed in order to avoid problems due to the limited coverage of such a scheme such as carbon leakage or competitive distortions? What particularities of a regional approach must be taken into account from a legal perspective? What are the implications of a regional regulation for the German and European economy? Initially the analysis were carried by means of a comprehensive review of the relevant theoretical and empirical literature. Building on this, the potential implications of a regional measure for the European and German economy was assed using quantitative simulations.