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Shipping Industry Floats Emissions Tax

shipping13.jpgTransport costs for raw materials are likely to rise due to a new marine fuel tax planned by the shipping industry as a way to combat climate change, Reuters reports.

A formal agreement on the tax is about one year away. A decision is likely in 2009, ahead of a UN’s climate change conference in Copenhagen.

Shipping emissions have so far avoided the criticism being faced by the aviation industry, but that may change. A recent study found annual CO2 emissions from ships are 3.5 percent of the global total. That compares with 2 percent of global emissions from aviation.

A CO2-Index for ships which would measure the design and construction emissions of vessels is also being considered.

Last week, The Marine Environment Protection Committee of the International Maritime Organization approved proposed regulations to reduce harmful emissions from ships.

Last fall, the chairman of the International Chamber of Shipping said the UN must enforce global regulations if the industry is to cut emissions.

A study by Energy Futures found that U.S. ports are a major source of pollution and GHG emissions in their cities and that progress on the problem has been slow.

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