UN+Maritime Capitalism. I'd rather stop shipping this pairing.
June 3, 2021 11:44 AM   Subscribe

Tasked to Fight Climate Change, the International Maritime Organization - A UN agency - does the Opposite, in secret. The NYT reports that the industry that generates more CO2 than all of America's coal plants has, for decades, suborned the UN agency tasked with regulating it. The IMO keeps on delaying and watering standards down (and neutering their enforcement) so much, that shipping is dirtier and more consumptive every year. Regulatory capture, old school transnational-capitalism style.
posted by lalochezia (9 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
Lets start by eliminating the whole "flags of convenience bullshit" You want access to the US Market you can comply with stronger laws on labor and the environment. You want the US Navy to protect your freedom of navigation, you'd gotta fly our flag or pay up. Or you can take your chances with the protection of the Liberian navy.
posted by interogative mood at 12:02 PM on June 3 [6 favorites]

You want access to the US Market you can comply with stronger laws on labor and the environment.

You intend to export the Jones Act?
posted by pwnguin at 12:11 PM on June 3

The world over, People want their stuff, and they want it cheap.

And nothing maintains inertia like the profit motive.
posted by armoir from antproof case at 2:01 PM on June 3 [2 favorites]

Considering how weak US labour and environmental law is relative to a lot of countries that sort of highest common denominator international application of country cabotage law would be pretty interesting to watch.
posted by Mitheral at 2:05 PM on June 3 [2 favorites]

Yet another way Pro-shippers have fucked up the world.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 2:17 PM on June 3 [1 favorite]

If you're reading this post, you'd probably be interested in the conversation that leftist podcaster Daniel Denvir (The Dig) had with Laleh Khalili about her book, 'Sinews of War and Trade: Shipping and Capitalism in the Arabian Peninsula'.

It takes a very long look at the intersection of capital and shipping over the 20th century (and beyond), with a focus on the organizing efforts and social circumstances of the workers on ships, in shipyards, and in the extractive industries that make up the bulk of the shipping business in and around the Peninsula. I found it engaging and informative.
posted by eclectist at 2:37 PM on June 3 [4 favorites]

I'm not sure if the NYT article is connected to this, but just a few weeks ago Black Trail a cross-border investigative documentary came out on exactly how the shipping industry has “captured” the International Maritime Organization. It's quite illustrative of many things the article highlights...
posted by talos at 3:18 PM on June 3 [5 favorites]

and it's not like the shipping industry doesn't want higher carbon taxes and other measures from IMO. Maersk (world's largest shipping company) is openly advocating for this: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-06-02/shipping-giant-maersk-seeks-150-a-ton-carbon-tax-on-ship-fuel
posted by alchemist at 11:50 AM on June 4

>You want access to the US Market you can comply with stronger laws on labor and the environment.

This exists. The general term is Port State Control. A ship has to comply with IMO regulation, flag state regulation, and port state regulation. (It also has to comply with its classification society standards). For example, the EU requires large ships that use its ports to give data on their carbon emissions - though that example shows both that (1) large port states can effectively force the IMO to adopt duplicating global regulation but (2) the IMO will attempt to persuade the port states that its new regulation is sufficient and therefore that exercise of port state control is unnecessary.
posted by Ktm1 at 3:55 AM on June 5

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