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World Shipping Council’s sustainability focus attracts new members
July 11, 2022 |

Companies cite pledge to reduce industry’s role in climate change

Two foreign shipping companies have joined the U.S.-based World Shipping Council, citing as a reason WSC’s commitment to reducing the industry’s greenhouse gas emissions.

The Danish shipping company Maersk recently announced it was leaving the London-based International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) over disagreements on climate change policy and instead joining WSC, the news site Logistics Update Africa reported July 11.

In addition, WSC announced July 7 that the Singapore-based Pacific International Lines is now an association member with a seat on its board of directors. The company cited WSC’s commitment to sustainability in its decision.

“The long-running pandemic, while disruptive, has highlighted the urgency for us to seek viable solutions to combat climate change, and PIL stands ready to step up its support to progress the decarbonization and other sustainability agendas among our peers,” PIL CEO Lars Kastrup said in a statement.

A recent study by the International Maritime Organization concluded that cargo ships accounted for nearly 3% of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions in 2018. Many industry players have pledged to reduce that figure although they don’t agree on how to go about it.

ICS has committed the industry to a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. That target was not ambitious enough for Maersk, which seeks to achieve net-zero emissions across its entire business by 2040, Logistics Update Africa reported.

Also, in a statement, the company said it scrutinizes trade association memberships on an annual basis to see if their lobbying aligns with the goals of Paris Agreement. That review led to it dropping out of ICS and joining WSC.

“Multi-vocal by definition, trade associations are always an expression of compromise between their members,” the company said. “As such, Maersk will not always be 100% aligned with their positions and retains, like any other member, its ability to choose a different path.”

WSC has offices in Washington, D.C., Brussels and Singapore. The association reported $5.1 million in revenue in its 2020 tax filings, the most recent available.