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Ship financiers back tougher action to cut CO2 emissions

Staff Writer |
Leading shipping finance banks have joined industry players in support of faster action to cut carbon emissions by the sector.

In April, the United Nations shipping agency reached an agreement to reduce CO2 emissions by at least 50 percent by 2050 compared with 2008 levels, which fell short of more ambitious targets.

The UN's International Maritime Organization (IMO) is meeting in London this week to work on an initial strategy on cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

In the meantime, bankers in the shipping sector have come together for the first time aiming to boost momentum towards de-carbonisation.

"We believe it is important for banks to support the IMO's vision in making shipping a cleaner and more environmentally sustainable industry," said Michael Parker, global head of shipping with Citi.

"We encourage other lenders to the industry to join us in supporting this call to action," he said in a statement on Wednesday.

The initiative has been led by the Global Maritime Forum (GMF), an international non-profit foundation trying to drive change in the

hipping industry. The GMF said it was working with financial institutions, shipowners and other bodies "on a set of principles for the inclusion of climate alignment and climate risk considerations in lending decisions".

The GMF said the shipping industry's greenhouse gas cuts would require "absolute reductions" in carbon emissions to accommodate an expected growth in global trade.

"The requirement for the industry to work towards a de-carbonised future is accepted by the GMF," said Peter Stokes, chairman of the GMF, who is also head of shipping with financial advisory firm Lazard.

The shipping sector, along with aviation, avoided specific emissions-cutting targets in a global climate pact agreed in Paris at the end of 2015, which aims to limit a global average rise in temperature to "well below" 2 degrees Celsius from 2020.

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