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Organization demands major retailers take crucial steps to protect our oceans: 'These corporations have an opportunity to send a market signal'

"They have an opportunity to set the new standard."

"Set the new standard for healthier, cleaner maritime shipping that is truly zero emissions."

Photo Credit: Ship It Zero

The shipping industry is responsible for roughly 3% of all global planet-overheating pollution, as cargo ships have been powered by dirty energy for the last two centuries. 

Now, a coalition called Ship It Zero — made up of environmental and public health advocates, scientists, shipping experts, and shoppers — is calling on the retail corporations that the industry relies on to commit to a goal of zero-emission maritime shipping by 2030, Good Good Good reported.

Companies like Target, Walmart, and Amazon rely heavily on maritime shipping to transport their goods around the world. This practice has a major negative impact on our planet and on the health of people who live in proximity to shipping ports, Ship It Zero explained.

"Air pollution from the heavily-polluting cargo ships that your favorite brands use to ship products has been linked to 6.4 million childhood asthma cases annually and contributes to over 250,000 premature deaths in primarily low-income Black and Latinx communities," the Ship It Zero website reads. 

The practice of situating polluting operations in close proximity to communities of color is known as environmental racism; it can be found across many industries.

The coalition is specifically calling out Walmart, Target, The Home Depot, Lowe's, Amazon, and IKEA, all of which are big-time polluters in the world of maritime shipping.

"As the key clientele of shipping liners, these corporations have an opportunity to send a market signal and set the new standard for healthier, cleaner maritime shipping that is truly zero emissions," the website reads

Consumers can find ways to effectively hold corporations accountable when it comes to environmental concerns, and they can support brands and companies that have eco-friendly initiatives

Alternatives to dirty energy currently being explored in the shipping industry include hydrogen fuel and ammonia fuel — although both come with the same downside. Each type of alternative fuel can be burned cleanly, with no planet-overheating, but the current processes used to produce them are highly energy-intensive and polluting. 

But the good news is that scientists are hard at work figuring out ways to produce these fuels more cleanly.

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