Buyers should get on board with green shipping effort

8 December 2010
Although Lindsay was sceptical about the results from the climate change summit currently being held in Mexico, there has been at least one associated outcome that might be of interest to buyers. The Carbon War Room (CWR), a not-for-profit group looking at how markets can build a post-carbon economy, has announced it is to rate more than 60,000 ships on how energy efficient they are. Vessels will be given a score from A to G (much like the labels that appear on the side of a fridge or washing machine) and these will be published on the website. According to the group, which was set up by Sir Richard Branson, buyers will now have the information to choose the ships with the lowest carbon footprint, ports can incentivise cleaner vessels and it will encourage ship owners to become more efficient. “We believe that the relative rating of clean and dirty ships will provide the market signals needed to remove barriers preventing capital flowing to clean technologies, and make gigaton-scale reductions in emissions a real possibility,” said Peter Boyd, chief operations officer of the CWR. But this is another initiative that will probably only work with the support of buyers. If purchasers don’t use their buying power to select vessels with the lowest impact, there will be no incentive for change and the idea is likely to sink without trace.
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