THE global shipping industry has opted to slash greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 50 per cent by 2050 after the shipping world met in London, at the UN's International Maritime Organisation (IMO) headquarters.
Originally, shipping has been left out of climate accords, with key countries such as the US and Saudi Arabia against plans to curb emissions because of the likely slowdown in trade it would cause.
The US is also understood to be somewhat sceptical on the effects of manmade climate change. Reports suggest however that global shipping is responsible for the same green house gas emissions as a country the size of Germany.
This equates to the global shipping industry as being the sixth biggest polluter in country-based global terms.
IMO Secretary General Kim Li-Tack said: "This initial strategy is not a final statement but a key starting point."
The head of the US delegation to the IMO Jeffrey Lantz said: "We do not support the establishment of an absolute reduction target at this time.
"In addition, we note that achieving significant emissions reductions, in the international shipping sector, would depend on technological innovation and further improvements in energy efficiency."
Despite the disagreements, the goal is firmly embedded in place and will now see a drive towards cleaner fuels develop within global shipping, reports Dubai's Transport & Logistics Middle East.