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Shipping and Climate Change

 Well said sir! Our journey is profound and our cause noble. Thank you for your revuttkevto the Economist article. LNG MFI Board and Executive

Shipping and Climate Change

I was disappointed by your interpretation of the latest developments in international shipping (“Spoiling shipping for a ha’p’orth of tar”, October 27th). The International Maritime Organisation, an organisation that moves even more slowly than the famous Panamax ships of its members, should be commended for taking action to reduce air pollution. The fact that your article sought to present this as a defeat for action to tackle climate change suggests that next week you will be lamenting the lack of volcanic activity at Mount Vesuvius, because that, too, would reduce global warming.

We know that in some instances, difficult choices need to be made about environmental priorities. Sometimes reducing one form of pollution results in increasing another form of pollution.

However, in almost all cases including shipping, these trade-offs are very much at the margin. It is wrong to suggest that shipping, or other industries, cannot take action that reduces the risks from climate change and tackle air, water and ground pollution. Such action may involve costs which is why, rightly, there is debate.

Nobody was counting on the "cooling effects" of shipping's sulphur emissions to slow global warming. It is a shame you think they were.

MATTHEW BELL

Director

Frontier Economics

London

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c/- Jackson McDonald,
Level 17, 225 St Georges Tce Perth, Western Australia 6000