The ultimate goal of the shipping industry and its regulators is zero accidents and zero pollution. Although these goals have not yet been fully achieved, considerable progress has been made, especially in the context of pollution from ships, an achievement all the more impressive when it is considered that the total amount of seaborne trade, measured in tonne-miles, has almost doubled since the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 – from 17.54 billion tonne miles to an estimated 32.74 billion tonne miles, an increase of around 85 per cent. By way of example, the figure provides data showing considerable growth in seaborne oil trade since the mid-1980s, with, nevertheless, a significant reduction in the number of oil spills from ships. This is attributable to a number of leading factors, including the existence of relevant IMO standards, improving implementation and enforcement of those standards, heightened environmental awareness within the shipping industry and the application of industry best practices.
From collection: Green Economy in a Blue World - Full Report