The maritime industry has a crucial part to play in international trade, with over 90% of it being transported by sea. That is good news for the environment; per tonne-kilometre, carbon emissions from shipping are significantly lower than for road or air, making shipping the most environmentally friendly means of international trade.
Despite this status, the sector’s impact on our climate remains a controversial issue, demonstrating an industry with conflicting views of what defines sustainable shipping. In October, the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) released a statement ruling out exploration of Arctic shipping routes due to environmental concerns. Shortly thereafter, Sovcomflot announced that two of its tankers had successfully crossed the Arctic’s Northern Sea Route, a shortcut from current routes, saving time and burning less fuel.