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Shipping firms to commit to emissions cuts at G7, Macron says

Press Release: Maritime transport companies will commit at the G7 summit to reducing the speed of their vessels as part of a package of climate and environment measures, French President Emmanuel Macron said Saturday.

Speaking ahead of the formal start of the summit in Biarritz, Macron said that “for the first time we will commit with maritime transporters to reduce speed, it’s one of the best ways to reduce emissions.”

The maritime transport sector accounts for 3 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, but this figure is likely to rise to 17 percent by 2050 if significant action is not taken, according to an Elysée press statement.

The coalition that will commit to action brings together a dozen maritime transport companies within the G7 framework. Its leaders include Rodolphe Saadé, the CEO of global transport and logistics group CMA CGM, and solar power advocate and former round-the-world balloonist Bertrand Piccard.

Maritime companies and environmental organizations have previously called for the introduction of mandatory speed restrictions for all commercial ships. Earlier this year, 100 maritime companies and nine NGOs urged the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to regulate shipping speeds.

The Paris climate agreement, signed in 2015, does not include emissions from international shipping and aviation since, by law, these don’t fall under any country’s jurisdiction.

Macron also presented on Saturday the so-called fashion pact, signed by 32 global companies from the fashion and textile sector, committing to tangible steps to reduce their environmental impact, particularly in terms of ocean pollution.

The representatives of these companies, including Adidas, H&M and Prada, commit in the voluntary pact, among other things, to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, restoring natural ecosystems, protecting key species and eliminating single-use plastics by 2030.

The fashion industry accounts for 8 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, with textile production resulting in 1.2 billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions every year — more than all of the emissions produced by international flights and maritime transport combined.

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