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Maritime shipping transports 90 percent of the goods traded around the world by volume. Moving large amounts of goods such as oil, computers, blue jeans and wheat across oceans drives the global economy, making it cheaper and easier to buy almost anything.
But hauling goods around by sea requires roughly 300 million tons of very dirty fuel, producing nearly 3 percent of the world's carbon dioxide emissions, giving the international maritime shipping industry roughly the same carbon footprint as Germany.
Summits - COP24 - Meeting - Poland - December
At summits like the COP24 meeting held in Poland in December of 2018 and in agreements such as the one struck in Paris in 2015, national governments have largely ignored the carbon dioxide emissions from international shipping entering the atmosphere.
This is a real problem because if no country is held responsible for emissions, no government will try to reduce them. We believe as scholars of global environmental cooperation that one way forward is to make international maritime shipping emissions the responsibility of specific countries with the goal of increasing pressure to encourage emission reductions.
Climate - Change - Negotiations - Countries - Charge
In international climate change negotiations, countries are in charge of reducing their own greenhouse gas emissions. Carbon dioxide emissions from international shipping could be added to this responsibility. Figuring out whose emissions they are, however, is no easy task.
Perhaps no industry is as globalized as maritime shipping. The ships themselves have international webs of owners, operators and registrations. They carry goods sourced in multiple places as they traverse the high seas, stopping in many countries.
Ship - Dozens - Companies - Company - Group
A single ship might be connected to dozens of companies. It can be built by one company, owned by a group of other companies, and operated by a group of yet more companies. It may carry cargo for many hundreds of businesses destined for many ports run by different companies, be crewed by an outsourced...
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