Apple released a “Mother Nature” ad touting its 2020 promise to bring its entire carbon footprint to net zero by 2030. The ad shows the Apple environmental team giving Mother Nature a status report. In one moment, an Apple team member says, “I’m proud to report that we’re shipping more products by ocean rather than air, which reduces transportation emissions by 95%.”
However, if Apple really wants to show a commitment to maritime shipping, it should join the Zero Emission Maritime Buyers Alliance (ZEMBA), says the Ship It Zero Coalition. The mission of ZEMBA is to accelerate commercial deployment of zero-emission shipping, by leveraging companies’ collective buying power to accelerate the zero-emission vessel market and realize the ambition of zero-emission ocean shipping by 2040.
Eric Leveridge, Ship It Zero Lead, Pacific Environment, said: “We call on Apple to prove their commitment to maritime shipping by transporting their goods on 100% zero-emissions ships and becoming a member of ZEMBA.
“Shifting their goods to maritime shipping is not necessarily a meaningful pathway to carbon neutrality. We need Apple to work with their ocean cargo provider now to move to zero-emission ships rather than rely on carbon offsets which don’t solve the climate crisis.
“Clearly, we are disappointing Mother Nature and the signs are everywhere – increased flooding, hurricanes and climate-fueled destruction. We have no time to wait, we must act decisively now.”
The global shipping industry accounts for 3% of global climate emissions, more than global air travel. If shipping were a country, it would be the world’s sixth largest climate polluter. But since maritime shipping negotiated itself out of the U.N. Paris Agreement, the effort to reduce emissions in the industry has been slower than in other sectors.
Approximately 90% of the world trade is transported by sea, and current business-as-usual scenarios project emissions will grow up to 50% over 2018 levels. While the International Maritime Organization noted increased ship size and operational improvements aimed at creating better fuel efficiency have resulted in a decrease in emissions intensity, annual absolute emissions are still increasing.
Photo credit: iStock/ Shahid Jamil