Shipper Hapag-Lloyd plans 20 percent cut in CO2 emissions by 2020

FILE PHOTO: A port worker moves a Hapag-Lloyd container at the Port of Bilbao on the second day of a three-day strike by Spanish port workers to protest the reform of operations, aimed at liberalising hiring practices, in Santurtzi, northern Spain, June 7, 2017. REUTERS/Vincent West/File Photo

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German container shipping firm Hapag-Lloyd plans a 20 percent reduction in its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 2020, compared with 2016, to help support a drive to halve emissions in the global shipping industry.

Transport has been a laggard among efforts by industry to agree emissions cuts, with shipping and aviation not part of a global climate pact reached in Paris in 2015.

But the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), the U.N. agency responsible for regulating pollution from ships, this month reached a deal to cut CO2 by 2050 from 2008 levels.

Hapag-Lloyd, the world’s number five container company, said in a statement on Sunday it had already cut the CO2 emissions of its fleet by 46 percent between 2007 and 2016.

“What matters now is for all market players to pull together in the same direction,” said Chief Executive Rolf Habben Jansen.

Hapag-Lloyd has modernized its fleet through its purchase of Gulf peer UASC, switching to more efficient vessels.

The industry is also looking at low-carbon fuels and possible market-based mechanisms to help cut emissions.

Reporting by Vera Eckert, editing by Keith Weir