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Global Maritime Forum, an international non-profit organisation, has announced a Sea Cargo Charter that sets a new benchmark for responsible shipping, transparent climate reporting, and improved decision-making for large industrial corporations in line with United Nations (UN) decarbonisation targets.

According to the UN agencies’ estimate, the global shipping industry will carry approximately 80% of world trade flows and will be responsible for 2%-3% of global greenhouse gas emissions annually.

Major industrial corporations in energy, agriculture, mining, and commodity trading sectors use global shipping services, and the shipping of crude oil, coal, iron ore, grain, and other bulk commodities constitute more than 80% of global seaborne trade.

The Sea Cargo Charter sets a baseline to assess and reveal whether shipping activities of these companies are aligned with the climate goals.

The charter is in line with the policies adopted by the member states of the UN’s International Maritime Organization (IMO), including its ambition to cut down greenhouse gas emissions from global shipping by at least 50% by 2050.

Cargill Ocean Transportation president and Sea Cargo Charter drafting group chair Jan Dieleman said: “A standard greenhouse gas emissions reporting process will simplify some of the complexities often associated with reporting. It will encourage a more transparent and consistent approach to tracking emissions, which will be a critical part of making shipping more sustainable.”

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The founding Signatories of the Sea Cargo Charter include Anglo American, ADM, Bunge, Cargill Ocean Transportation, COFCO International, Dow, Equinor, Gunvor Group, Klaveness Combination Carriers, Louis Dreyfus Company, Norden, Occidental, Shell, Torvald Klaveness, and Trafigura.

Global Maritime Forum managing director, head of projects and programmes Johannah Christensen said: “The Sea Cargo Charter enables leaders from diverse industry sectors to use their influence to drive change and promote shipping’s green transition by choosing maritime transport that is aligned with agreed climate targets over that, which is not.”

The development of the charter has been led by Anglo American, Cargill Ocean Transportation, Dow, Norden, Total, Trafigura, Euronav, Gorrissen Federspiel, and Stena Bul. Expert support was provided by the Global Maritime Forum, Smart Freight Centre, University College London Energy Institute/UMAS, and Stephenson Harwood.