The shipping industry transported more than 90% of global and European external trade with some 50,000 cargo ships transporting 7.7 billion tonnes of cargo in 2007. Pollution can present a risk to investors largely due to the exposure of merchant shipping companies to potential financial liabilities under regulatory regimes.
The European Commission aims to internalize environmental and health-related costs, known as negative externalities or damage costs, into transport pricing to help make the sector more sustainable. The environmental damage costs of air pollution, including CO2 emissions, from the transport sector in Europe could total €210 billion by 2020. Trucost has calculated emissions to air from the shipping segments of 11 companies in the MSCI All World Developed (AWD) Index. Just four of the companies, including one of six based in the EU, report their emissions to air, reflecting the industry’s general lack of transparency on environmental impacts.