May 29 - Speaking at the recent OECD International Transport Forum in Leipzig, Germany, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) said that the cost of environmental protection threaten sustainable shipping.

Representing the views of the global shipping industry at the event, ICS explained the economic challenges facing the shipping industry at a special ministerial session relating to financing sustainable maritime transport.
Carl-Johan Hagman, Stena AB ceo, speaking on behalf of ICS said: "In the current economic climate the shipping industry has to work in close contact with shipping's global regulators, especially the IMO, and make them fully aware of the implications of their actions."

Hagman noted that environmental protection is of great importance but there must be a balance between the conservation measures taken and their economic impact.

He continued: "Distillate fuels currently cost around fifty percent more than residual fuel and the difference between the two fuels is expected to increase as the use of distillate becomes mandatory. Without significant extra production of distillate fuels, how should ship operators manage these extra fuel costs?"

Hagman explained to the ministers that ship operators will struggle to manage the surge in additional costs associated with environmental conservation measures, which "threaten to rise so high that they may have a dramatic impact on world trade or force cargo back onto roads or to other less carbon- efficient modes of transport".