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As climate change causes Arctic sea ice to diminish, cargo traffic through previously unnavigable ocean routes becomes increasingly feasible. Though these routes can offer decreased transit times, the possibility of increased vessel traffic across the Arctic poses great risk and potentially devastating environmental impacts for one of the world’s most fragile regions.
“At Nike, we exist to serve athletes. That means taking climate action through Move to Zero, Nike’s journey towards a zero carbon, zero waste future,” said Hilary Krane, EVP, chief administrative officer and general counsel, Nike, Inc. “We know climate change impacts how our athletes train and play, and whether they get to enjoy sport at all. Through this pledge, we’ve made a clear choice – to help protect the planet and preserve the Arctic.”
Often referred to as “the world’s refrigerator,” the Arctic plays an essential role in regulating global temperatures. It is also one of the regions that is most vulnerable to climate change, with temperatures rising in the Arctic at twice the rate of the rest of the planet.
“The dangers of trans-Arctic shipping routes outweigh all perceived benefits and we cannot ignore the impacts of greenhouse gas emissions from shipping on our ocean,” said Janis Searles Jones, CEO of Ocean Conservancy. “Ocean Conservancy applauds Nike for recognising the real bottom line here which is a shared responsibility for the health of the Arctic—and believes the announcement will spur much-needed action to prevent risky Arctic shipping and hopes additional commitments to reduce emissions from global shipping will emerge.”
The Arctic Shipping Corporate Pledge invites companies to commit to not intentionally send ships through the fragile Arctic ecosystem. Besides Nike, companies that have signed the Pledge are Bestseller, Columbia, Gap Inc., H&M Group, Kering, Li & Fung, PVH Corp., and ocean carriers CMA CGM, Evergreen, Hapag-Lloyd and Mediterranean Shipping Company.
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