Shipping industry representatives, backed by several countries, have submitted a proposal to the UN to charge a climate-related levy on fossil fuels used by international shipping for the first time. However, climate campaigners are concerned that the levy is too small, and will distract from more effective ways of reducing carbon dioxide from shipping , which is a growing problem. The proposed levy , of $2 (£1.40) a tonne of fuel used by ships, would raise about $5bn over the next decade to fund research and development into zero-carbon ships. It was put forward on Wednesday to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the UN body that governs global shipping, by the International Chamber of Shipping and several other industry representatives, and is backed by nine governments. Guy Platten, the secretary general of the International Chamber of Shipping, said the levy would enable a “moonshot” by producing funds to build prototypes of ships or the infrastructure needed to supply low-carbon energy to ships. There are severe logistical difficulties with decarbonising shipping: an electric ship, for instance, would require the equivalent of 10,000 Tesla batteries a day to cross the Atlantic. Hydrogen is another proposed fuel , but Platten said on […]

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