Influence Map, a research group focused on climate change and finance reform, has presented data that shows shipping corporations strategically keeping their toes out of the UN Paris Climate Agreement for capital gain despite being responsible for 3 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, which hinders the accord's promise to reduce the global temperature through implementing emission regulation.
If the shipping companies are not in agreement, then they do not have to follow the rules when it comes to reducing the amount of carbon dioxide they emit from their cargo ships. This would allow the companies to continue "business as usual" which, according the report, the recently reported 3 percent could increase to 15 percent by 2050 if left unregulated.
The New York Times reported in May that the melting of the ice caps in the Arctic has opened shipping routes for companies that would lead to higher production and increase their capabilities significantly. The Times reported that by 2050, ordinary cargo ships would be able to travel across the North Pole with ease.
The carbon footprint from shipping consists of 2,800 million tons of carbon dioxide a year, reports Medium from a study conducted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in 2014.
Influence Map wrote in their report, "This research has further uncovered that at the most recent IMO environmental committee meeting 31% of nations were represented in part by direct business interests. The IMO appears to be the only UN agency to allow such extensive corporate representation in the policy-making process."
The current business practices of the shipping industry and their ability to carry on without consequence cuts into the global carbon budget by 16 percent, according to Medium, and makes the UN goal of decreasing global temperature by 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit by 2050 impossible.
According to The New York Times, scientists say global warming is largely responsible for the decrease in ice coverage since the 1980s, and those scientists have also noticed that older ice has melted away, as well. In other areas of the Arctic region, ice is warming twice as fast.
With the routes opening up, the shipping times over the summer months could shorten to only three weeks using the previously difficult Northern passage.
Influence Map reported that the lobbying of the shipping industry has hindered any progress toward the Paris Agreement by opposing any carbon regulation that could hurt business.
Working together, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), alongside BIMCO and the World Shipping Council, have effectively lobbied for no regulations until 2023.
According to Medium, the IMO estimates the industry to produce 39 billion tons of carbon dioxide between 2015 and 2050 if they were to tightly limit emissions.