More than 170 countries have reached an agreement to halve carbon dioxide emissions from shipping by 2050, compared to 2008.
The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) held a session in London last week attended by the countries, with the aim of helping slash the environmental footprint of the shipping industry, which currently represents nearly 3% of global emissions.
The IMO says this figure could reach 10% by 2050 if no action is taken.
It says EU nations and the Marshall Islands supported a goal of cutting emissions by between 70% and 100% by 2050 but this was opposed by the US, Saudi Arabia, Brazil and Panama.
Although this resulted in a less ambitious target, the IMO says it leaves room for further cuts in the future.
The initial strategy would not be legally binding for member states and a final IMO plan is not expected until 2023.