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René Taudal Poulsen
Photo: privat

Managing Shipping 3: Why greenhouse gas regulation in shipping should target powerful cargo-owners

Sustainability and environment
Society and economy

Learn more about MRV, or Monitoring, Reporting, Verifying, at this webinar about shipping and the emissions of greenhouse gas. What are the obstacles and the challenges? Speaker is researcher René Taudal Poulsen från Copenhaugen Business School, and host of the event is Gothenburg Research Institute.

4 May 2021
13:00 - 14:00

Good to know
Webbinariet hålls på engelska.
Gothenburg Research Institute på Handelshögskolan vid Göteborgs universitet
Photo: Rinson Chory

Abstract from "The Potential and Limits of Environmental Disclosure Regulation: A Global Value Chain Perspective Applied to Tanker Shipping":

"Exploring how transnational environmental governance and the operation of global value chains (GVCs) intersect is key in explaining the circumstances under which mandatory disclosure can improve the environmental footprint of business operations.

We investigate how the governance dynamics of the tanker shipping value chain (a major emitter of greenhouse gases) limits the effectiveness of the European Union (EU) monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) regulation, which mandates the disclosure of greenhouse gas emissions for ships calling at EU ports.

Although MRV seeks to help shipowners and ship managers save fuel and reduce emissions, it does not address the complexity of power relations along the tanker shipping value chain and currently cannot disentangle how different actors influence the design, operational, commercial, and ocean/weather factors that together determine fuel consumption.

In particular, the EU MRV neglects to reflect on how oil majors exert their power and impose their commercial priorities on other actors, and thus co-determine fuel use levels.

We conclude that, in its current form, the EU MRV is unlikely to lead to significant environmental upgrading in tanker shipping.

More generally, we argue that regulators seeking to facilitate environmental upgrading need to expand their focus beyond the unwanted behaviors of producers of goods and providers of services to also address the incentive structures and demands placed on them by global buyers."

The full study is available for free download at the webpage of Global Environmental Politics (MIT Press).

Further info is also available in a recent article, which we published in Lloyd’s List. Please see: Why shipping’s MRV regulation must target cargo owners: Lloyd's List, November 30, 2020.