Technology

Black Trail - an investigation into shipping pollution and corruption

How to kill the planet and get away with it...

Black Trail is an agenda-setting investigation into the environmental impacts of the shipping industry — a sector that is all but untouchable as it receives eye-watering subsidies and stashes its profits in tax havens, all the while polluting with impunity.

This collaboration initiated by EIC brings together journalists from newsrooms and TV networks across Europe, including Expresso and SIC TV (Portugal), The Black Sea (Eastern Europe), Reporters United (Greece), VG (Norway) and RTS (Switzerland), with research and reporting support from Financed Uncovered (UK).

The cross-border team focuses on how the shipping industry has “captured” the International Maritime Organization, the UN agency that has, since 1948, been the only body charged with regulating the emissions of greenhouse gases and pollutants produced by ships.

Although the shipping industry insists that it carries 90 percent of global freight yet is responsible for less than three percent of carbon dioxide emissions, the investigation exposes a darker — and deadlier — reality.

It shows how the sector has dodged the climate debate as it continues to burn the dirtiest of all transport fuels. Ship emissions are responsible for more than 50,000 deaths a year in Europe as particles like black carbon drive up cancer rates in Mediterranean port cities.

Meanwhile, the same emissions are contributing to climate change as they speed up the melting of Arctic icecaps.