The global shipping industry is still digesting the news today that some of its largest clients will for the first time assess and disclose the climate alignment of their shipping activities.
The brand new Sea Cargo Charter sets a “new benchmark for responsible shipping, transparent climate reporting, and improved decision making in line with United Nations decarbonization targets”, according to a release from the Global Maritime Forum.
The Sea Cargo Charter is a global framework that allows for the integration of climate considerations into chartering decisions to favour climate-aligned maritime transport. Founding signatories of the charter 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, and Trafigura.
The move sees charterers leapfrog regulators and the shipping industry itself in terms of detailing how emissions reporting will be carried out.
Guy Platten, secretary general of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), shipowning’s largest lobby group, argued today that due process at the IMO ought to have been carried out rather than charterers pressing ahead with their own greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting schemes.
“The initiative has some interesting ideas but we believe that it would have a better chance of success if it was to be aligned with the reporting requirements set out by governments and even the Poseidon Principles, to be agreed at the IMO following significant consultation and review, to ensure that the reporting requirements are as efficient as possible,” Platten said.
The ICS has offered to work with the signatories to today’s landmark charter to ensure that they can deliver on their stated objective and produce what ICS claimed today would be an even more effective initiative.
Echoing Platten’s comments, Bob Sanguinetti, the chief executive of the UK Chamber of Shipping, told Splash: “Tackling climate change is a top priority for the chamber and generating transparency is fundamental to this. Shipping remains the most efficient means of transporting goods and this initiative is laudable, actively supporting the industry commitment to 2050 climate change goals.”
“However, due to the international nature of shipping we believe the best way to achieve industry goals is through collective agreement at the IMO, but we look forward to receiving more details about the Sea Cargo Charter,” he added.