Group Representing 85 Percent of Ocean Container Shipping and Key Customers Calls for Climate Action

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Group Representing 85 Percent of Ocean Container Shipping and Key Customers Calls for Climate Action

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Thursday, October 20, 2016 - 8:00am

CAMPAIGN: Business in a Climate-Compatible World

CONTENT: Press Release

SAN FRANCISCO, October 20, 2016 /3BL Media/ — Members of BSR’s Clean Cargo Working Group (CCWG) have agreed on a climate action statement and call to action for the container shipping sector and its value chain to support private-sector contributions for the global goals on climate change. Today, CCWG includes ocean container shipping lines representing about 85 percent of global volume and more than a dozen key cargo owners.

The CCWG member statement reflects an aspiration for container shipping to play its role in limiting global temperature increase to well below 2˚C, acknowledges its part as a low-carbon freight solution and partner in emissions reductions, and calls on other global freight transport stakeholders for ambitious action on emissions reductions.

“This represents real leadership by the ocean container shipping sector to define a role for shipping and its partners in the transition to a low-carbon economy,” said Angie Farrag-Thibault, Director of BSR's Transport and Logistics practice and the Clean Cargo Working Group. "The agreed member statement is part of a process to raise awareness of the challenge ahead and invite collaborative action to mitigate freight transport emissions through the value chain.”

Full Climate Action Statement and Call to Action, Agreed by Members of CCWG

“Climate change is one of the most pressing challenges of our time. Members of the Clean Cargo Working Group support the global climate goal, which affirms the importance of keeping a global temperature increase well below 2°C. Meeting this target will involve deep global greenhouse gas emissions reductions.

Ocean shipping is one of the lowest-emission forms of global freight movement, and the members of CCWG have already reduced emissions per TEU-km around 30 percent from 2011-2015. However, we recognize that further industrywide action is required to maintain progress in the transition to low-carbon global logistics supply chains.

We are committed to doing our part, and we cannot do it alone. We need increased ambition, collaboration, and action by carriers, shippers, forwarders, energy and technology providers, and policymakers to enable low-carbon solutions.”

Last December, governments representing 196 countries and 98.7 percent of global climate-related emissions agreed to limit climate change to “well below” 2˚C. Nations have already submitted individual climate plans, but key business sectors, such as shipping, have not yet defined their role in reaching the global climate goal.

The International Transport Forum estimates that freight accounts for around 7 percent of global emissions. As of 2011, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) estimated ocean container shipping produced around 219,945,000 tons of climate-related emissions, equivalent to driving 46 million passenger vehicles for a year, and emissions growth was projected to significantly outpace other shipping segments. The CCWG statement was agreed by members as part of a process to tackle these emissions.

Global shipping stakeholders, such as the International Chamber of Shipping, have recently called for the IMO to set an industry target. BSR research with industry and experts finds that the scale of emissions reductions needed are significantly higher than the 50 percent per ton-kilometer that should be achieved well before 2050 using current technology.

The CCWG statement was agreed by members at their annual fall meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, last week. Work performed by BSR to research emissions reductions for the sector and come to agreement on the action statement with CCWG members was funded by the We Mean Business Coalition. Further details about progress on these activities will be published in the coming weeks.

About the Clean Cargo Working Group (CCWG)

The Clean Cargo Working Group (CCWG) is a business-to-business leadership initiative involving major brands, cargo carriers, and freight forwarders, dedicated to reducing the environmental impacts of global goods transportation and promoting responsible shipping. The mission of CCWG is to engage collaboratively on the measurement, reporting, and evaluation of environmental performance data in marine container transport; to share best practice; and to support responsible corporate engagement on public policy. CCWG also strives to catalyze and partner on projects that drive sustainability performance improvement across transport value-chains worldwide.

About BSR

BSR is a global nonprofit organization that works with its network of more than 250 member companies and other partners to build a just and sustainable world. From its offices in Asia, Europe, and North America, BSR develops sustainable business strategies and solutions through consulting, research, and cross-sector collaboration. Visit to learn more about BSR’s 25 years of leadership in sustainability.


Melanie Janin
+1 (415) 984-3254
Communications Managing Director, BSR