The shipping industry contributes around 2% of all global carbon emissions – a figure comparable to the entire CO2 emissions of a country the size of Germany. In many ways that isn’t surprising: shipping powers the world economy, and carries 90% of all international trade. But although people understand the link between trade and prosperity, they quite rightly demand it is done in a responsible and environmentally friendly way.
Globalised trade has brought rapid growth and helped see a remarkable fall in extreme poverty around the world, but it is not without negative consequences. Scientists say that to stave off potentially dangerous levels of warming later in the century, global emissions need to decline quickly to near-zero.