Crippled already by the financial crunch, shipping companies are worried that the climate summit in Copenhagen will deliver another blow: a tax on the sulfuric low-grade oil that powers their ships, says the Wall Street Journal.
Citing shipping analysts and officials, the newspaper says that leaders at the summit are expected to assign the London-based International Maritime Organization, which runs the global register of shipping, to run the new levy. The goal is to compel shipping firms to shorten routes and find alternate energy sources. The tax, estimated at $10 billion a year, will likely be in place by 2012, says the Journal.
Meanwhile, shipping executives say that a tax isn't coming at an ideal time for the shipping industry. "We see a slow return to growth in 2010 but we're not very optimistic about the profitability of the sector," Nils Andersen, chief executive of A.P. Moller Maersk AS, told the Journal.