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LONDON: The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) says CO2 emissions from international shipping now represent 2.2 percent of the world's total compared to 2.8 percent in 2007 – a reduction of more than 10 percent despite an increase in maritime trade.

CO2 emissions comparisonBecause shipping is already the most carbon efficient mode of transport, and becoming more efficient all the time according to the ICS, if additional cargo can be moved by sea, rather than by air or truck, it will lead to further reductions in the world's total CO2 emissions.

To encourage this, the ICS says the industry's preference is for a global fuel levy, rather than emissions trading or alternatives "using arbitrary and theoretical metrics". The Chamber thinks the latter would distort shipping markets and have a negative impact on the efficiency of global sea trade.

Commenting on the latest emission figures, ICS secretary general Peter Hinchliffe said: "These are genuine reductions through fuel efficiency, without the need for complex virtual measures such as carbon offsets.

"With bigger ships, better engines and smarter speed management, the industry is confident of a 50 percent CO2 reduction by 2050 when the entire world fleet will comprise super fuel-efficient ships, many using clean fuels such as LNG," he added.

In 2013 the UN International Maritime Organization (IMO) set a mandatory target for all ships built from 2025 (including those in developing nations) to be 30 percent more efficient than those built in the 2000s. This applies to over 95 percent of the world merchant fleet.

"The entire world fleet is about 20 percent more efficient than in 2005. With the support of the shipping industry, [The] IMO has already achieved a great deal and is the only forum that can deliver further significant CO2 reductions from international shipping," said Hinchliffe.

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