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The environmental price of international commerce

International commerce is growing and its environmental impact results in more garbage in the oceans and more greenhouse gas emissions. See what has being done to tackle this issue

Between 1980 and 2010, according to the “International Trade in Resources: A biophysical assessment” report, produced by the International Resources Panel, the value moved by the international commerce grew six times, and the volume of carried goods more than doubled. This international trade has several benefits. It contributes to the development of nations, generates employment, and brings stability to international relations.  

However, there are some costs regarding international commerce – environmental, mostly. Nowadays, navigation is the main means of transport of these goods and it represents around 90% of these freights. The global fleet emits between 3% and 4.5% of greenhouse emissions and drops part of the 6 billion Kg (13 billion pounds) of the annual garbage thrown in the ocean. Nonetheless, some efforts are being taken to fix this issue. Here are some measures of the European Union and the International Maritime Organization to reduce the environmental impact.

Content published in March 13, 2019

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