22 Aug 2008 06:08:31
Transport carbon costs label welcomed
A move to label products with details of the carbon emitted in their transport to retail shelves has been welcomed by the shipping industry.
Japan has proposed the labelling, which Chamber of Shipping claims would reveal a misconception surrounding "food miles".
Shipping carries 92 per cent of British trade by volume, according to the chamber and transporting a product by sea produces about one per cent of the carbon dioxide as moving it by air would.
The chamber has joined Oxfam to study the misconception regarding "food-miles" and noted that distance is not the relevant comparison point, but rather it should be carbon emissions from transport that are taken into account.
It also claims to be interested in eliminating the misconception that most goods are moved by air. According to the chamber the majority of food products are moved by ship and air-freight is only used for high value low-weight items.
The government has set a goal of cutting carbon emissions in the UK by 60 per cent by 2050, though the Committee on Climate Change is lobbying for an 80 per cent reduction. Some argue that emissions related to products consumed in the UK should also be factored in to the UK's total.