A study published today by London-based non-profit organisation InfluenceMap claims corporations have “unmatched” power to shape regulations at the United Nations’ shipping body, the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The report – Corporate capture of the IMO – has been timed for release to coincide with the start of the next round of IMO climate talks kicking off this week.
The 38-page report claims big business and major shipping trade groups are “actively and collectively” obstructing global climate change policy at the IMO. Major flags of convenience as well as Bimco, the World Shipping Council and the International Chamber of Shipping are highlighted as barriers to getting more stringent, timely environmental rules in place.
“Despite being responsible for close to 3% of global greenhouse gas emissions, the shipping sector remains outside of the UN Paris Agreement on climate. It has achieved this through corporate capture of the International Maritime Organization,” the study maintained.
The authors of the report went on to claim that the IMO stood out as the UN body most influenced by corporations.
“Corporations have unmatched access and influence at the IMO compared to other UN bodies, providing the shipping industry with a clear avenue to shape policymaking,” InfluenceMap stated. An analysis of other UN agencies carried out by the British non-profit organisation indicated that while trade associations are typically granted access to committee meetings, similar to the IMO, at no other UN agency researched do corporations attend committee meetings as formal state representatives.
IMO member states are set to meet this week in the latest round of climate talks with clear divisions emerging. While Scandinavian and Pacific nations are pushing for dramatic emission cuts, others such as Brazil, Argentina, Saudi Arabia, and India are keen to delay any firm emission cut commitments.