Sea Cargo Charter to assess shipping sustainability

COPENHAGEN, Denmark — A group of the world’s largest energy, agriculture, mining, and commodity trading companies will for the first time assess and disclose the climate alignment of their shipping activities, says International non-profit organization Global Maritime Forum.

United Nations agencies estimate the international shipping industry to carry around 80 per cent of world trade flows and to be responsible for 2-3 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions annually.

Large industrial corporations are significant users of international shipping services. The shipping of crude oil, coal, iron ore, grain and other bulk commodities used worldwide make up over 80 per cent of global seaborne trade.

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.

The Sea Cargo Charter establishes a common baseline to assess and disclose whether shipping activities are aligned with adopted climate goals. The Sea Cargo Charter is consistent with the policies and ambitions adopted by member states of the UN’s International Maritime Organization, including its ambition to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping by at least 50 per cent by 2050.

“A standard greenhouse gas emissions reporting process will simplify some of the complexities often associated with reporting,” said Jan Dieleman, president, Cargill Ocean Transportation and chair of the Sea Cargo Charter drafting group. “It will encourage a more transparent and consistent approach to tracking emissions, which will be a critical part of making shipping more sustainable.”

Founding Signatories of the Sea Cargo 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 Sea Cargo Charter enables leaders from diverse industry sectors to use their influence to drive change and promote shipping’s green transition by choosing maritime transport that is aligned with agreed climate targets over that which is not,” says Johannah Christensen, managing director, head of projects & programmes at international non-profit, Global Maritime Forum.

The development of the Sea Cargo Charter has been led by global shippers – Anglo American, Cargill Ocean Transportation, Dow, Norden, Total, Trafigura – and leading industry players – Euronav, Gorrissen Federspiel, Stena Bulk – with expert support provided by the Global Maritime Forum, Smart Freight Centre, University College London Energy Institute/UMAS, and Stephenson Harwood.