The world’s largest companies call for zero-emission shipping by 2050

A container ship disembarks at the port of Matautu, which has been expanded with Japanese support, in the Samoan capital of Apia on July 12, 2019. REUTERS / Jonathan Barrett

LONDON, Sept. 22 (Reuters) – More than 150 leading companies and organizations, including oil majors and port authorities, on Wednesday called for the total decarbonization of the global shipping industry by 2050, urging governments to intensify the warning period.

With around 90% of global trade transported by sea, global maritime transport accounts for almost 3% of global CO2 emissions and the sector is under increasing pressure to become cleaner.

The United Nations maritime agency, the International Maritime Organization (IMO), has said it aims to reduce overall greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from ships by 50% from 2008 levels of by 2050, but industry groups are calling for accelerated government action.

In the latest move, companies and groups – from shipping, charter, finance, ports and fuel production – say tougher measures are needed to ensure the sector will meet climate targets set by the Paris agreement, which aims to limit global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius.

“Time is running out,” said Hugo De Stoop, managing director of the main oil company Euronav (EUAV.BR).

The Call to Action initiative, developed by the World Economic Forum, the nonprofit World Maritime Forum and other partners, said decarbonization of shipping could “only happen with urgency and necessary scale ”if governments and regulators establish appropriate policy frameworks.

“Policymakers have a historic opportunity to accelerate this process by introducing a global carbon tax on marine fuels, to drive decarbonization and incentivize investments in zero emission fuels and ships,” said Jeremy Weir, CEO of the Trafigura trading company.

An IMO spokesperson said the UN agency had a “clear work plan ahead”, including a discussion of new measures to reduce GHG emissions from ships, which would give member states “the opportunity to review the current strategy and make proposals for new ambitions”. “.

The other signatories of the initiative are the container lines AP Moller – Maersk (MAERSKb.CO), MSC and Hapag Lloyd (HLAG.DE), the oil majors BP (BP.L) and Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) , the mining groups BHP (BHPB .L) and Rio Tinto (RIO.L), the agricultural groups Cargill and Bunge and others like the ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp as well as the Panama Canal Authority.

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