France is pushing for a CO2 tax on shipping at a financial summit

France said Friday it would push for an emissions tax on the highly polluting shipping industry, adding momentum to a campaign long backed by Pacific island nations and environmental activists.

French President Emmanuel Macron is set to advance the issue at an international conference next week to discuss reshaping the global development aid system, where Brazilian leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, as well as a host of African heads of state are expected.

The shipping industry transports around 90 percent of the goods traded worldwide and is responsible for around three percent of global CO2 emissions, which are currently unregulated.

Two Pacific nations at risk of rising sea levels, the Marshall Islands and the Solomon Islands, have been pushing for a $100-per-ton tax on shipping industry emissions over the past decade, which would incentivize operators to reduce their pollution.

“We hope to give a real political boost to the proposal at the summit,” one adviser said on condition that he remain anonymous on Friday.

Macron will host dozens of foreign leaders at the summit for a new global financing pact in Paris on June 22-23, and a commitment from participating countries like China, Saudi Arabia or Brazil would be a concrete success of the talks.

French officials say it would increase pressure on shipping companies and the International Maritime Organization (IMO), a United Nations agency, which is due to host a summit in two weeks to discuss the carbon tax.

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