Ships wait off the harbour in Singapore. Photo: Deposit Photos

By Karl Mathiesen
26 October 2017

(Climate Change News) – A UK shipping executive has turned on the industry for ignoring the effect lobbying has had on its efforts to reduce carbon pollution.

In an op-ed published on the trade press site Splash 24/7 on Thursday, Andrew Craig-Bennett said industry mockery of a report released this week that concluded lobbyists had “captured” talks at the UN International Maritime Organisation (IMO) was misplaced.

On Monday, the NGO Influence Map released a damning report that exposed the degree to which these shipping registries and industry lobby groups had infiltrated the body intended to regulate them.

While some details in the report were incorrect, said Craig-Bennett, a 41-year veteran of the shipping industry, “it is basically right, and we all know that it is”.

“The IMO was captured by the shipowning interest as soon as the IMCO admitted the FOCs,” he said.

Craig-Bennett is deputy general manager of the UK subsidiary of Chinese government-owned Cosco but stressed to Climate Home that he wrote the article in a personal capacity and not as a representative of his employers.

The UN body was known as the IMCO until 1982. FOCs – flags of convenience – such as Panama or the Marshall Islands, register vessels outside their country of ownership. Registry businesses account for more than half of the world’s merchant fleet and commonly lead national delegations to the IMO.

Craig-Bennett said lobbyists used deliberately confusing statistics about shipping emissions – which are roughly equal to the annual emissions of Germany – in order to mislead and delay action on carbon pollution.

“We can feel nothing but contempt and disgust at the prostitutes employed by our racket to try and put one over on the general public,” he said.

The leaders of the Baltic and International Maritime Council (Bimco) and the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), disputed the findings of the study this week, saying they had not tried to derail progress on cutting emissions. [more]

Shipping executive: ‘We have deliberately misled public on climate’

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