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Retailers and Ocean Carriers Given Failing Grades on Emission Reductions

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 1275
August 4, 2023

The majority of retailers and ocean carriers are failing to adequately address their climate-warming emissions from ocean shipping, according to a recent “report card” released by the Ship It Zero campaign.

The inaugural report card highlights the lack of progress in decarbonizing shipping fleets and limiting emissions to stay within the Paris Agreement’s 1.5 degrees Celsius global temperature rise target.

The Shipping Decarbonization Report Card assesses major retailers and container shipping lines on their commitment to rapid decarbonization and the development of zero-emission fuels.

Among the retailers evaluated, Amazon, Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Walmart received failing grades of D or F, while IKEA scored a B+. None of the retailers were performing well in addressing their shipping pollution, according to the report card.

For ocean carriers, MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company, Ocean Network Express (ONE), and HMM received grades of C, while Maersk earned a B, and CMA CGM received a D. Hapag-Lloyd. Evergreen, Yang Ming, and Pacific International Lines received a failing grade of F.

The global shipping industry is responsible for 3% of global climate emissions, more than global air travel, and would be the world’s sixth largest climate polluter if it were a country. However, the industry has been criticized for being too slow in reducing emissions compared to other sectors since its exclusion from the Paris Agreement.

Ship It Zero noted that many carriers still rely on fossil fuels and other insufficient measures to reduce emissions, such as fossil fuel-based LNG and scrubbers

In July, the UN International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted a revised greenhouse gas strategy with emission reduction targets for 2030 and 2040, along with a net zero emissions target by around mid-century. However, some argue that the revised strategy is not aggressive enough to keep the industry in line with the 1.5 degrees Celsius goal set by the Paris Agreement.

Ship It Zero called out retailers and carriers for their lack of action in addressing emissions from shipping and says urgent steps are needed to combat the climate crisis.

“Our report card clearly shows that, while some retailers and cargo carriers have made progress, there’s still a long way to go,” said Kendra Ulrich, Shipping Campaigns Director for Stand.earth. “Decarbonizing the shipping industry is urgent and we are putting retailers and their cargo carriers on notice. We urge companies to commit to achieving 100% zero-emission, fossil-free ocean shipping by 2030 to ensure a healthier, cleaner tomorrow for our communities and our climate.”

Ship It Zero’s campaign aims to push major companies like Walmart, Home Depot, Amazon, Target, and IKEA to transition to 100% zero-emissions shipping by 2030.

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