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Are Asia’s shipowners doing enough to cut greenhouse gas emissions?

More than half of the world’s largest proprietors of shipping vessels are from Asia. Eco-Business explores what the region’s biggest maritime companies are doing to lower their environmental impact.

Asia is home to more than half of the world’s top ten major shipowners, based on a report released by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) on 27 September.

China is at the forefront, being the second largest fleet owner globally after Greece, in terms of the carrying capacity of a vessel. Japan’s ships can handle almost the same weight of cargo, fuel, water, and crew as China’s, but only have half the quantity of its vessels. Taiwan has overtaken the United States for the first time this year, ramping up its fleet and dead weight tonnage (DWT).

Almost the entire maritime industry relies on the Republic of Korea, China and Japan to build their ships.

China, Singapore, and India provide the world’s biggest ports, while the Philippines and Indonesia are the top providers of seafarers and maritime officers.

“Asia is very much a hub for this industry, and it is vital that the shipping carriers and shipbuilders work together to respond to increasing demand and scale up their lower-emissions options for customers,” said Eric Leveridge, climate campaign manager of US-based nonprofit Pacific Environment.




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