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Although 90% of what you buy arrives via ship, the shipping industry has remained largely invisible to the average consumer. By staying out of sight, the industry has mostly avoided the scrutiny other emissions-heavy industries have come under in recent years. With little incentive to adopt greener technology, the shipping industry has become a major obstacle in international efforts to keep global warming below 2°C (3.6°F), explains science reporter Maria Gallucci in an eye-opening article for the environmental-news magazine GristgetAbstract recommends her article to company owners, supply chain specialists, environmental activists and consumers. 

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why the global shipping industry is a major contributor to global warming,
  • Why the shipping industry currently has few incentives to reduce carbon emissions and
  • Who might be able to convince the shipping industry to adopt greener technology. 
 

About the Author

Energy and environment reporter Maria Gallucci was a reporter at Mashable. She is the 2017–2018 Energy Journalism Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin.

 

Summary

The international shipping industry continues to rely heavily on high-carbon fuel, which makes it a significant contributor to global warming. The 2016 Paris Climate Agreement has not set any pollution reduction targets for international shipping and aviation because of these industries’ transnational and cross-regional activities. Experts believe that without binding regulations and large industry investments, the shipping industry is unlikely to reduce its emissions. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) estimates that continued economic expansion will increase the industry’s carbon footprint by up to 250% by the middle of the century. However, keeping the global temperature rise “well below” the 2°C (3.6°F) target would require most cargo ships to become emissions-free by the middle of the 21st century.


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