Walmart fails to address massive maritime pollution, says advocacy groups

According to advocacy campaign Ship It Zero, the global retail giant Walmart has again chosen not to take even basic steps to address its massive maritime pollution footprint by failing to join either the Green Shipping Challenge or the First Movers Coalition in the opening days of COP27.

The coalitions, both spearheaded by the U.S. Biden administration, seek to accelerate global collaboration to decarbonize maritime shipping. 

Led by environmental advocacy groups Pacific Environment and Stand.earth, the Ship It Zero campaign is calling on some of the nation’s largest maritime importers — including Amazon, Target, IKEA, and Walmart — to transition to 100% zero-emissions cargo shipping vessels by 2030.

This ​​goal will ensure the shipping industry does its fair share in helping to keep global warming under 1.5 degrees Celsius, the target scientists say is needed to avoid the worst consequences of the climate crisis.

“Walmart was spoon fed opportunities to move its products off of fossil-fueled ships here at COP, and once again, they’re failing to show up on one of the defining ocean-climate action issues of our time,” said Madeline Rose, Climate Campaign Director for Pacific Environment. 

“Walmart understands the market power they have to catalyze new clean energy markets. We urge them to take initial steps to end their ocean shipping pollution, or at least be transparent with us and the public and say bluntly what’s holding them back.”

“Walmart has yet again failed to take responsibility for its massive maritime climate pollution footprint,” said Kendra Ulrich, Shipping Campaigns Director for Stand.earth. 

“The First Movers Forum hosted today (November 8, 2022) presented a perfect opportunity for Walmart to step up and show some climate leadership on its ocean shipping emissions, as its competitor Amazon has already done. 

“Previous Ship It Zero research has exposed an unusually close relationship between Walmart and maritime cargo carrier CMA-CGM, who is investing heavily in liquified fossil gas (LNG) powered ships, which significantly worsens the climate disrupting emissions from its ships by 70-80% more than business as usual. We urge Walmart to turn away from being one of the worst big retail maritime polluters and become an emission-free shipping champion.”

Photo credit: iStock/ Sundry Photography

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