Coalition of 19 Countries Agreed to Create Green Shipping Corridors

A group of 19 countries including the United States and Britain have agreed to create zero emission shipping trade routes between ports to accelerate decarbonization of the maritime industry. Shipping industry accounts for 3% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO), UN’s organization responsible for shipping, said it targets a 50% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from 2008 levels by 2050. However, the goal doesn’t meet 2015 Paris Agreement’s climate change targets and the industry is under pressure to be more ambitious.

The agreement called “Clydebank Declaration” was launched during the UN’s COP26 Climate Summit in Glasgow. The signatories agreed to create at least six zero carbon routes, or “green corridors”, by 2025.

The group’s statement said it was their aim to create many more corridors by 2030.

Robert Courts, British maritime minister, said government efforts alone would not be enough to decarbonize shipping routes and they needed commitment from private and non-governmental sectors. The minister added that with the cooperation of governments, private sector and NGOs, he believed it was possible to create a zero emission international shipping by 2050.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg supported Courts, saying the declaration was a big step forward for green shipping and the US would press the IMO for a zero emission target by 2050.

However, neither Courts nor Buttigieg have given details on how the green corridor commitments would lead to zero shipping emissions.

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