A leading shipowning organisation has hit out at government subsidies supporting ailing shipyards.
Addressing government trade negotiators in the OECD working party on shipbuilding at a workshop on green growth in Paris on Monday, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) asserted that the shipping industry could only be environmentally sustainable if it is economically sustainable too.
“The perennial challenge facing shipowners is overcapacity, aided and abetted by government subsidies and support measures that encourage shipyards to produce ships that are surplus to requirements,” said ICS director of policy Simon Bennett. “If governments are serious about helping the shipping industry deliver on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the OECD needs to reboot efforts to have a global agreement on the elimination of market distorting measures from shipbuilding. Despite being in existence for over 50 years it’s disappointing that the working party on shipbuilding has still made little progress, with the last round of negotiations on a new OECD agreement having been suspended several years ago.”