Shipping could be hit with an environmental tax on bunker fuel if new regulations are passed at the Copenhagen climate summit currently taking place.

According to shipping analysts, the tax, estimated at $10bn a year, could be in place by 2012.

There are eight ideas on the table in the summit which involves a straight tax, a cap-and-trade arrangement and a combination of these.

Leaders at the summit are expected to assign the IMO to run the new levy.