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James Mitchell – Around the world, ocean plastics, species loss, and climate change seem to finally matter on a personal and political level. At last, we are waking up to the fact that there is no Planet B.
At all levels, from individual lifestyle choices, to monumental policy shifts, climate action is happening. And although not without its own challenges, the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement stands at the pinnacle: a global pledge to hold our planet well below 2℃ of warming. But, a major part of the global economy is not yet on board – and it’s probably not the one you’re thinking of!
International maritime shipping transports 90 per cent of all our goods globally; that’s more than 10 billion tonnes of oil, wood, silicone, orange juice, trainers, furniture, laptops, fish fingers and much more that criss-cross our ocean each year.
Shipping also contributes 2.4 per cent of global greenhouse gases (GHGs), equivalent to the total emissions of Germany. Yet, the shipping industry isn’t governed by individual states and so it’s not bound by the Paris Agreement. It’s regulated globally by the UN’s International Maritime Organisation (IMO), which has yet to implement any plans or targets to reduce total GHGs.
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