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Shell, Cargill among major charterers to report shipping emissions

Seventeen of the world’s largest ship operators, charterers and commodities traders will for the first time commit to transparent reporting of shipping emissions.

Dubbed the Sea Cargo Charter, the founding signatories of the group include Anglo American, ADM, Bunge, Cargill Ocean Transportation, COFCO International, Dow, Equinor, Gunvor Group, Klaveness Combination Carriers, Louis Dreyfus Company, Norden, Occidental, Shell, Torvald Klaveness, Total, Trafigura, and Orsted.

The Sea Cargo Charter will set a new benchmark for responsible shipping, transparent climate reporting, and improved decision making in line with the UN decarbonisation targets.

The UN has estimated that international shipping is responsible for 2-3% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions annually.

“A standard GHG emissions reporting process will simplify some of the complexities often associated with reporting. It will encourage a more transparent and consistent approach to tracking emissions, which will be a critical part of making shipping more sustainable,” said Jan Dieleman, president of Cargill Ocean Transportation and chair of the Sea Cargo Charter drafting group.

The Sea Cargo Charter establishes a common baseline to quantitatively assess and disclose whether shipping activities are aligned with adopted climate goals. The Sea Cargo Charter is consistent with the policies and ambitions adopted by member states of the IMO. This includes its ambition for GHG emissions from shipping to peak as soon as possible and to reduce shipping’s total annual greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% of 2008 levels by 2050, with a strong emphasis on zero emissions.

As the shipping of crude oil, coal, iron ore, grain and other bulk commodities make up over 80% of global seaborne trade, the Sea Cargo Charter’s framework allows for the integration of climate considerations into chartering decisions to favour climate-aligned maritime transport.

“The Sea Cargo Charter is an important step in laying the foundations for a net-zero emissions shipping industry. Collaboration such as this, from across the sector, is vital to scale-up customer demand for low- or zero-emissions shipping,” said Grahaeme Henderson, global head, Shell Shipping & Maritime.

“This same spirit of collaboration is also vital in the pursuit of the technological advances needed to unlock decarbonisation solutions, and in building industry support for regulation which can create an ambitious but level-playing field under which to invest. Building on this momentum we would like the IMO to use its 2023 strategy review to set the trajectory for the sector to move to net-zero emissions by 2050,” Henderson said.

The Sea Cargo Charter has industry support from Citi, Euronav and Stena Bulk. There is also expert support from Smart Freight Centre, University College London Energy Institute, and Global Maritime Forum.

“The Sea Cargo Charter enables leaders from diverse industry sectors to use their influence to drive change and promote shipping’s green transition by choosing maritime transport that is aligned with agreed climate targets over that which is not,” said Johannah Christensen, managing director, head of projects & programmes, Global Maritime Forum.

The Sea Cargo Charter is intended to evolve over time as the IMO adjusts its policies and regulations and when further adverse environmental and social impacts are identified for inclusion. They also aim to support other initiatives developed to address climate, environment, and social risks in shipping.

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