IMO Chief defends shipping's environmental record
The Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) says the shipping industry is improving its record on environmental protection.
"It is caring, sensitive to criticism and prompt and keen to improve its performance so that it may become even better," said Efthimios Mitropoulos at an event at the IMO's London headquarters this week. "Shipping today is an industry with good, and improving, credentials on safety, security and environmental protection. It is characterized by a high sense of corporate responsibility."
Mitropoulos mentioned in particular shipping's eagerness to contribute to sustainable development.
His remarks were made during a presentation on a new generation of cruise ships being developed by Royal Caribbean International.
Mitropoulos has frequently defended the shipping industry from charges that it has been slow to respond to concerns about its environmental impact.
He said in March this year that shipping should not be a "scapegoat" for damage to the world environment, saying the industry had a "fine record".
Mitropoulos said attacks that presented shipping as "disproportionately responsible for air pollution" were "disappointing and disconcerting."
Those remarks came ahead of the IMO meeting that agreed new targets for limiting air pollution from ships, in part by reducing the sulphur content of marine fuel.