New Metrics
Global Shipping CO2 Emissions Dropping Each Year, 8% Between 2012 and 2013

Average carbon-dioxide emissions for a majority of global ocean container transports have declined year on year, and by nearly 8 percent between 2012 and 2013, according to a new report by BSR.

The BSR Clean Cargo Working Group’s 2014 Global Maritime Trade Lane Emissions Factors report provides data from more than 2,900 ships, representing around 85 percent of global ocean container capacity, and is designed to help global ocean transport providers and their shipping customers to measure, evaluate, and report on environmental performance data.

While changes in carrier representation or global trade conditions may account for part of the emissions reductions described in the report, the continued performance improvement also is attributed to carrier fleet efficiency and year-on-year improvements in data quality, the report says.

For the first time, the report includes aggregated average utilization factors for each trade lane. Users can include this data in carbon-footprint calculations as a more accurate approach to calculating shipment-level transport performance. The analysis of the data over the two-year period assessed show that the average utilization across all the largest trade lanes is close to 70 percent, with some variation from year to year.

Ninety percent of international trade travels by ship, which accounts for 3 to 4 percent of global emissions and are on track to triple by 2050. To help counter this, last year Forum for the Future partnered WWF to frame and facilitate the creation of a coalition of global shipping leaders and key industry stakeholders: the Sustainable Shipping Initiative (SSI). The organization has two directives — establish new good practices that ensure that the shipping industry is both profitable and sustainable by 2040, and show that collaborative action is indeed possible and fruitful.

What happens below the water’s surface also plays a major role in what happens above it. Overfishing, pollution, habitat destruction, ocean warming and acidification are threatening the long-term sustainability of the world’s oceans. A coalition of CEOs of seafood companies and civil society leaders, biologists and economists, policy-makers and entrepreneurs have come together to propose and execute solutions to these many problems. Launched by the World Bank and supported by more than 140 organizations, the Global Partnership for Oceans is a public-private partnership that was created to help improve ocean health and human well-being.


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