As the International Maritime Organization’s top environmental body, the Marine Environment Protection Committee, continues its biannual policy meeting this week, a momentous issue is on the agenda: whether to pursue a global carbon levy on shipping fuel in order to drive decarbonisation of the global shipping fleet forward.

The question is whether the IMO and its member delegates are ready to show real leadership on a question of vital interest not just to the shipping industry but also to the future of the planet.