As of Monday, there were 84 vessels waiting off the coast of Southern California, 37 outside the Port of Los Angeles and the other 47 near the Port of Long Beach.
“Until recently, the massive climate disrupting and human health harming emissions from international container shipping — and the companies that are buying their services — have sailed under the radar of public scrutiny,” the report said.
As of 2021, the shipping industry accounts for almost 3% of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions. That’s more than the emissions from global air travel. The report predicts that if consumer demand continues, emissions will grow 50% over 2018 levels, an increase of up to 500 million metric tons of carbon dioxide.
An ‘outsized role’
Amazon noted it has a goal to deliver 50% of its shipments with net-zero carbon by 2030. It also was a signatory of the Climate Pledge to achieve net-zero carbon emissions across its business by 2040.
The report estimates that Target is responsible for more than 6.4 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions while Amazon is responsible for 1.4 million metric tons.
A Target spokesperson said the company is committed to “reducing our shipping carbon footprint as we work toward our goal of being a net zero enterprise by 2040, with net zero emissions across both our operations and supply chain.” Target is also working with its global carriers to ensure they adhere to the International Maritime Organization’s 2020 limits on sulfur fuel for ships to help reduce emissions, the spokesperson added.
A representative from Walmart did not respond to a request for comment.
Ikea said it agrees emissions from ocean shipping is an important topic and needs more focus.
Unlike the other three companies included in the report, IKEA’s emissions have decreased over the past two years. The report estimates that the furniture retailer emitted 1.3 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions between 2018 and 2020. However, those emissions have followed an overall downward trend, decreasing 16% between 2018 and 2019 and another 8.5% between 2019 and 2020.
In an effort to work around supply chain congestion, and in line with its strategy to reduce carbon emissions, IKEA has been transporting goods from China to Europe via rail rather than ships. This shift is one reason the retailer has seen a decrease in emissions, according to the report.
“We are a big transport buyer, and we have a big responsibility to influence the ocean transport industry in a positive way,” the company said in a statement. “IKEA is committed to become climate positive by 2030, by reducing more greenhouse gas emissions than the IKEA value chain emits.”
Biden is expected to speak Wednesday about the supply chain crisis.
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