Shipping execs advocate for carbon levies

SINGAPORE, (Reuters) — Executives at some of the world’s top shipping groups are advocating a levy on carbon emissions on shipping in an effort to shape tightening rules on greenhouse gas emissions while providing a means to fund development of cleaner fuel sources.

“To meet international shipping’s decarbonization challenge, the maritime industry needs a carbon levy, it is coming, and we should shape it,” said Andreas Sohmen-Pao, chair of BW Group at the Global Maritime Forum in Singapore last week.

The comments followed closed working group discussions on the need for a levy on carbon emissions from shipping operations with other executives from other companies including Cargill Ocean Transportation, Euronav, Angelicoussis Group, Torvald Klaveness Group, Norwegian bank DNB and mining giant BHP.

Maritime shipping, which represents about 90 percent of international trade, accounts for about two to three percent of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The United Nations International Maritime Organization (IMO) has a goal to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 50 percent from 2008 levels by 2050.

Immediate action is needed if the global shipping industry is to meet this target, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) said in a report released last week.

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