Adding to the pressures on ship operators to reduce GHG emissions from their fleets, a group of some of the world’s most significant charterers of vessels have signed a commitment to assess and disclose details of their shipping climate footprints.
The founding signatories of the new Sea Cargo Charter include many of the world’s largest energy, agriculture, mining, and commodity trading companies. The charter creates a global framework allowing for the integration of climate considerations into chartering decisions to favor climate-aligned maritime transport.
“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,” says Jan Dieleman, President, Cargill Ocean Transportation and Chair of the Sea Cargo Charter drafting group.
“The shipping industry as a whole needs to adopt a transparent approach, advocated by the Sea Cargo Charter, in order to fully understand the sector’s overall greenhouse gas footprint and for us to collectively rise to the challenges faced,” says Rasmus Bach Nielsen, Global Head Fuel Decarbonization, at Trafigura, another founding signatory,.
“The Sea Cargo Charter is an important step in laying the foundations for a net-zero emissions shipping industry,” says Grahaeme Henderson, Global Head, Shell Shipping & Maritime. “Collaboration such as this, from across the sector, is vital to scale-up customer demand for low- or zero-emissions shipping. This same spirit of collaboration is also vital in the pursuit of the technological advances needed to unlock decarbonization solutions, and in building industry support for regulation which can create an ambitious but level-playing field under which to invest.”
The 17 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, Total, Trafigura, and Ørsted. All other responsible shippers are invited to join the initiative.
The Sea Cargo Charter is intended to evolve over time as the IMO adjusts its policies and regulations and when further adverse environmental and social impacts are identified for inclusion. They also aim to support other initiatives developed to address climate, environment, and social risks in shipping, such as the Poseidon Principles covering shipping finance.
The Sea Cargo Charter is applicable to bulk charterers with interest in the cargo on board, those who simply charter out the vessels they charter in, and th owners and all charterers in a charterparty chain. They apply globally, to all chartering activities where a vessel or vessels under the purview of the IMO.
Development of the Sea Cargo Charter has been led by global shippers – Anglo American, Cargill Ocean Transportation, Dow, Norden, Total, Trafigura – and leading industry players – Euronav, Gorrissen Federspiel, Stena Bulk – with support provided by the Global Maritime Forum, Smart Freight Center, University College London Energy Institute/UMAS, and London-headquartered law firm Stephenson Harwood.