Twelve of Sweden’s biggest importers and exporters have signed a letter of intent that will lead to the collection of data and use of environmental criteria in their shipping procurement.

These developments show that consumer pressure and campaigns pushing for greener maritime transport can indeed change the policies of commercial enterprises – we now see a shift from a position of considering the environmental impacts of shipping as “someone else’s problem” to an acknowledgement that the way in which goods are shipped is the responsibility of purchasers.

The process to reduce GHG emissions from ships is being threatened by developing countries who fail to recognise that the shipping industry is a special case and requires a special global sectoral approach.

Environment groups welcome the Fisheries Council's decision on IUU fisheries, but strongly oppose the proposed measures to tackle rising fuel prices and regret that no precautionary measures to freeze the footprint of deep water fisheries have been adopted.