Front and Center
Shipping’s Decarbonization Starts Now
Sustainability has reared its beautiful head towards the supply chain industry, and started with its biggest polluter, ocean shipping. In what has been dubbed shipping’s decarbonization ‘moonshot’, a $5 billion proposal has been formally sent to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), calling for mandatory contributions from every shipping company in the world at approximately $2 per tonne of bunker fuel.
The proposal, backed by all major global shipping associations, aims to quickly advance R&D for zero-carbon maritime technologies and the development of working prototypes, as well as CO2 reduction projects in developing countries.
In a joint press release from nine of the world’s largest global shipping companies, they state “zero-carbon technologies do not yet exist that can be applied at scale to large ocean-going ships. A well-funded R&D programme, which the industry has agreed to pay for within a global regulatory framework, needs to commence immediately under the supervision of the UN IMO.”
Don’t Call It a Tax
Since the European Parliament voted to include the shipping industry in their 2022 carbon market, and also backed a -40% greenhouse gas efficiency target to be reached by 2030, the US and China have also been evaluating similar emissions trading schemes.
Shipping associations hope that this proposal will curtail regional legislation efforts that would impose higher carbon taxes and more stringent regulation. Some environmental groups have claimed that this “moonshot” and $5 billion figure is much too small, and merely a tactic to avoid government interference
Yes, it is. With this proposal, the shipping industry must pay, one way or another, for their carbon footprint. It won’t be long for the spotlight to shine on the rest of the supply chain, and it is put under the same scrutiny as shipping. The proposal backers hope to get it ratified at the next IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) later this year. If you haven’t already looked at the sustainability of your supply chain, now is the time.
Back of the Packet
Sweet Relief Package
On Wednesday, the final version of President Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill (AKA the American Rescue Plan Act) was approved by the House and sent to Biden’s desk for signature.
The American Rescue Plan will send $1,400 in direct payments to those with an annual salary up to $75,000, and it also includes:
- $350 billion for state and local governments aid
- $14 billion towards vaccine distribution
- $130 billion to schools for safe reopening
- $300 billion in weekly jobless benefits through September
- Expanded tax credit of up to $3,600 per child, which could raise 4 million children out of poverty.
Aaahhhh, sweet economic stabilization.
Unwelcome to Walmart
Walmart announced that they will be repurposing one North Dallas location into a fulfillment center dedicated entirely to online delivery and curbside pickup, with no more in-store shopping. As a proverbial canary in the low-price coal mine, this could signal a permanent shift towards local delivery and curbside pickup over conventional brick-and-mortar shopping.
Continuing their effort to modernize and keep up with eCommerce culture, Walmart has begun offering free samples with their grocery pick-up and also for customers that sign up for the Walmart+ subscription service.
What’s trending on China’s online shopping platform Taobao? A statue of Trump as Buddha with the slogan ‘make your company great again’, of course! A Trump toilet brush is also among Taobao’s top-rated Trump-related merchandise.
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