Maritime workers back campaign to reduce shipping emissions to net zero

The Maritime Union of New Zealand is backing a global worker-led campaign to reduce emissions in the shipping industry to net zero by 2050.

The Maritime Union is an affiliate of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF). The ITF is attending COP26 in Glasgow to promote sustainable shipping and a just transition to a post-carbon economy.

Maritime Union of New Zealand National Secretary Craig Harrison says new technologies have the potential to massively reduce pollution and emissions.

“As a geographically remote, maritime trading nation, New Zealand needs to be in the forefront of innovation and socially responsible change in maritime transport.”

He says even with current technology, domestic coastal shipping is the most low impact freight mode available within New Zealand.

Mr Harrison says the Maritime Union is working with Government and industry to build New Zealand’s coastal shipping capability.

He says a greater role for domestic coastal shipping is essential to reduce emissions, and to build New Zealand’s resilience to worsening congestion in global supply chains.

The ITF is promoting eight ‘fundamental principles for a just transition’ to make sure the decarbonisation of the industry includes workers’ voices, as the industry tests alternative fuels, redesigns skills and career pathways, and shifts employment from fossil fuels to alternative fuel bunkering systems.

International shipping has not been explicitly included in the landmark Paris Agreement or its predecessors, which aims to limit global temperature increase to 1.5°C.

To bring international shipping into line with the Paris Agreement, the ITF is calling for the industry and regulators to commit to a target of zero-carbon by 2050.

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) is a democratic, affiliate-led global union federation that connects nearly 700 affiliated trade unions from 150 countries. The ITF is the voice for nearly 20 million working men and women across the world.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: