Maersk Line has named Lloyds Register to verify the shipping giant’s CO2 emissions data.
The company said in a statement it was the first shipping line to receive independent verification of its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions data vessel by vessel, but “the next challenge” would be to get other shipping lines to do the same in order to create an industry standard.
The news comes as the UN’s main shipping body, the International Maritime Organization, struggles to agree on proposals to cut CO2 emissions from new ships and to develop market-based mechanisms, such as emissions trading or a global tax.
The shipping sector accounts for nearly 3 per cent of global CO2 emissions, and EU officials have indicated their intention to include shipping into the 27-nation bloc’s cap-and-trade scheme if the IMO fails to act – compelling some firms to take action.
“We don’t fear regulation as long as it is across-the-board and global. We would like ambitious targets to be reached,” Erik Hogh-Sorensen, a spokesman for Maersk Line told Point Carbon News on Tuesday.
“In order to make these investments (to reduce CO2 emissions), we prefer that our competitors in the industry also do the same,” he said.
The spokesman said that Maersk is calling for an industry standard for verification of CO2 emissions data through its affiliation with the so-called Clean Cargo Working Group, which consists of shipping companies and large customers seeking ways to reduce the shipping sector’s carbon footprint.
Members of the group are meeting in New York this week.
Maersk Line, a unit of Copenhagen-based AP Moller-Maersk group, is a leading global shipping firm with a fleet of more than 500 ships.
Last year, Maersk Line’s CO2 emissions amounted to 29.76 million tonnes of CO2, down 18 per cent from the previous year and accounted for nearly 70 per cent of the group’s total emissions of the greenhouse gas.
Although the firm last year had implemented new procedures and initiatives to reduce its emissions, the year-on-year drop in CO2 was largely a result of a slowdown in global transport due to the 2009 economic crisis.
The company also has a relative target to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 10 per cent by the end of 2012 from a 2007 baseline.
Maersk Line reckons that the independent verification of the sector’s CO2 emissions data would allow customers to choose shipping lines based on their environmental performance – particularly for its big customers like Starbucks.
“Our global logistics providers can aid us in lowering the carbon footprint of our supply chain by improving their CO2 emission data,” John Bauer, director of global transportation at Starbucks Coffee Company said in the statement.
“Quantified measurement and verification is a step in the right direction,” he added.
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