Amazon, Ikea and other big companies commit to zero-emission shipping by 2040

In an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in global trade, a coalition of companies that includes Amazon and Ikea has pledged to use only ocean shippers that use zero-carbon fuel by 2040.

The cargo ships that ferry as much as 90 percent of the world’s products also produce nearly 3 percent of man-made carbon dioxide emissions each year — an estimated nearly 1.1 billion tons that rivals the annual output of Germany, the world’s sixth-largest emitter.

Organized by the nonprofit Aspen Institute, the initiative counts Amazon, Unilever, Michelin and Patagonia among its signatories. “By setting this target and signaling our dedication to decarbonize this part of our supply chains, we hope to inspire a surge in investment by ocean freight carriers and producers of zero-carbon shipping fuels,” the companies said in an announcement Tuesday.