Ports, shipping need to go green to resist future global crises: UNCTAD

A ship passes through a section of the Panama Canal, one of the busiest trading routes in the world. (Photo via UN News)

(United Nations News) The entire shipping industry must invest urgently in sustainability if it is to withstand future shocks and help prevent another global cost-of-living crisis linked to supply chain disruption, UN trade and development experts UNCTAD said on Tuesday.

“Ships carry over 80 per cent of the goods traded globally, with the percentage even higher for most developing countries; hence the urgent need to boost resilience to shocks that disrupt supply chains, fuel inflation and affect the poorest the most,” the UN agency said in a new report on maritime transport.

Between 2020 and 2021, UNCTAD also noted that carbon emissions from the world’s maritime fleet increased by almost five per cent. At the same time, data indicated that the average age of the ships in service has increased, to almost 22 years.

Straitened times

Replacing these ageing vessels is key to ensuring the maritime industry’s transition to a low-carbon future, said UNCTAD Secretary-General Rebeca Grynspan, who also called for “predictable global rules” to support the industry, ports and shipowners.

“In terms of green and climate regulation we must move from the many and messy rules we have now, to one system that is good for all,” she told journalists in Geneva. “This is critical given the highly uncertain environment, with conflict risks…and unknown price of carbon in the future.”

Read more at: United Nations News

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