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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs     11  December 2010

Supply chain, logistics hit in Cancun

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More than 194 nations are present at the COP16 United Nations Climate Change Conference, which opened in Cancun December 9, and sure enough, what is right at the heart discussion? The supply chain and logistics industry.

The shipping industry, which accounts for nearly 90 percent of all global merchandise transport, is the single largest emitter of high-volume pollutants that are thought to cause global climate change. Shipping is usually the first transportation-related industry to come under fire by environmental lobbyists.

At the Climate Change Conference, the Head of the United Nations Ban Ki-Moon opened with a lengthy discussion of preserving the planet, specifically how imperative it is to find workable solutions in the freight and logistics sector. Also at the conference is the world's largest shipping line, Maersk, whose presence represents the entire shipping industry.

"I am deeply concerned that our efforts so far have been insufficient. Nature will not wait while we negotiate. Science warns that the window of opportunity to prevent uncontrolled climate change will soon close," said Ki-Moon.

Having heard the Secretary General's comments John Kornerup Bang, lead climate advisor for the A P Moller Maersk Group said: "To tap into shipping's low carbon potential, COP16 should create carbon transparency and embrace the concept of carbon distance. The actual distance travelled by a product is not important. What's important is the CO2 emissions resulting from the transport and the societal value of the service provided. That is the essence of carbon distance.

"Businesses are stepping in to fill the political void. This initiative is a testament to the fact that the UN sees businesses as solution providers. It's good to see that shipping is seen as part of the solution."

Reacting to Maersk's involvement Lila Karbassi from UN Global Compact's Environment Leader programme commented: "Innovation in sustainable shipping will be critical to solve the climate crisis. It is encouraging to see Maersk's leadership in developing transportation solutions that will bring about the transition to a low-carbon economy."

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