A new report released by InfluenceMap claims that the shipping industry has deliberately blocked international efforts towards climate change, by creating lobby groups to keep shipping out of the Paris Agreement. The report refers namely to powerful shipping trade associations –ICS, BIMCO, WSC – supporting that their actions have stalled progress on regulation to curb pollution and greenhouse gas levels.
According to the report: “Progress on regulation has been stalled by powerful shipping trade associations, with the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) leading efforts to oppose action on climate change at the IMO. ICS, alongside BIMCO and the World Shipping Council, have collectively lobbied to delay implementation of any climate regulations until 2023 – even then refusing to support anything but voluntary regulations that may not reduce the sector’s overall greenhouse emissions.”
Furthermore, at the most recent IMO environmental committee meeting, 31% of nations were represented in part by direct business interests. The IMO seems to be the only UN agency to allow corporate representation, of that extent, in the policy-making process, the research says.
The research continues by saying that the shipping sector maintains its business model about carbon emissions by capturing the regulatory process. The shipping sector’s lack of disclosure is in contrast with the increasing investor expectations of more such disclosure as exhibited by the FSB’s TCFD recommendations on climate risk.
“Future policy shifts are impossible to predict and investors in the shipping sector should query exposed companies they own as to what they are doing to manage climate risk behind the shroud of opacity currently in place,” InfluenceMap underlines.
”In 2015-17 ICS, BIMCO and WSC submitted a total of 17 policy documents on climate-related issues at MEPC meetings. This collectively translates to 11.2% of all identified non-secretariat submissions to the IMO related to climate change from 2015-17, a figure higher than every other state except Japan, Germany and Denmark. Such a high percentage suggests industry associations are active and influential contributors to IMO negotiations on climate change.” the report adds.
Finally, according to the report, a key exception to this is AP Moller-Maersk, which discloses transparently its climate policy positions, supporting ambitious action on climate. Other progressive corporate voices in the sector have also recognized the need for a more ambitious stance on climate policy.
Maersk has been joined recently by companies such as Sweden’s Stena Line and national trade associations from Scandinavia that appear supportive of action to reduce carbon emissions in the shipping industry. Such operators show potential for a future coalition of progressive voices in shipping to further promote climate policy disclosure and action on climate at the IMO.
To read the full report, click below: