A major shipping industry association has backed plans for a global shipping carbon emissions surcharge to help fund the sector’s transition to climate-friendly fuels.
The International Chamber of Shipping said it would propose to the United Nations that all ships trading in the world above a certain size pay a fixed amount per metric ton of carbon dioxide they emit.
The group, representing commercial shipowners and operators covering more than 80% of the world’s merchant fleet, did not specify which carbon price it would support.
The shipping industry is estimated to account for almost 3% of the greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming and are expected to increase significantly in coming decades.
The Marshall Islands and the Solomon Islands, two nations with large shipping fleets and seriously threatened by climate change, have already proposed a carbon tax starting at $100 per ton.
Environmental activists have welcomed the ICS’ submission to the International Maritime Organization, but warned that the extent of its ambition remains unclear.
“We’ll know they’re serious about real progress when they adopt a level of ambition consistent with what climate-vulnerable island nations have already come up with,” said Aoife O’Leary, director of global transport at the Fund. of environmental defence.
The ICS said it opposed piecemeal regional measures, such as those proposed by the European Union and called for the money generated from the tax to go into a climate fund that would subsidize clean alternatives such as hydrogen until they become competitive with conventional fuels.