In 1997, the 3rd conference of parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change adopted the Kyoto Protocol as a consequence of increasing evidence of a manmade global warming of the atmosphere. Binding greenhouse gas emission reduction targets for industrialized countries were agreed upon. However, bunker fuel emissions from international shipping have so far been excluded from any commitment in the protocol. After looking at the magnitude of emissions from international shipping and likely trends, we make suggestions how shipping can be integrated into polices to control greenhouse gas emissions. The objective of policy instruments has to be the introduction of an effective and efficient stimulus for environmentally sound operational and technical improvements on existing and new ships. Consequently, the best solution would be for IMO to agree on a global shipping emissions target that would be comparable to targets of industrialized countries. However, for the time being, the introduction of a CDM type mechanism would be a promising step into the right direction.