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Shady Ships

This week, we receive Madeline Rose, Climate Campaign Director at Pacific Environment to present the report Shady Ships – Retail Giants Pollute Communities and Climate with Fossil-Fueled Ocean Shipping.

Pacific Environment, a global environmental organisation dedicated to the preservation of communities and wildlife of the Pacific Rim, has been working on cleaner shipping policies for 15 years, with a consultative seat at the IMO for 10 years.  

“Everyone is talking about transportation decarbonization, i.e. how to electrify cars, how do we electrify trucks. That conversation has not extended to the seas. Ocean shipping is really getting a free pass in the public conversation about transportation decarbonization.”

Recognizing the retail companies, the actual cargo owners  are left out and not actively participating in the forums on decarbonization, Pacific Environment decided to  kick start a conversation on the responsibilities of the largest  retailers in the US . 

This initial investigation was produced to better understand the pollution and public health impact of maritime shipping, i.e. the shipping of  imported goods in the US: 

By importing goods to the U.S. on dirty, fossil fueled ships in 2019, just 15 retail companies emitted as much climate pollution as the energy use of 1.5 million U.S. homes.

“These major companies are hiding from the public the true amount of pollution they produce from their supply chain. Of the top 15 maritime importers in the US, only Ikea and Nike are reporting their ocean maritime emissions” 

“Amazon just launched Shipment Zero – making a commitment to their customers that there will be zero emissions of their products from the  warehouse to their front door. But they completely omitted everything it takes to get a product from Asia all the way across the Pacific Ocean to the warehouse”