Nine big companies including Amazon, Ikea and Unilever have signed up to a pledge to only move cargo on ships using zero-carbon fuel by 2040.
They hope the “aggressive” target will push the heavily-polluting shipping industry to decarbonise faster.
Cargo shipping produces one billion tonnes of climate pollution each year – as much as the country of Germany.
But critics say shipping firms are not doing enough to meet Paris Agreement goals on emissions.
The Aspen Institute – the non-governmental organisation coordinating the campaign – expects other retailers and manufacturers that rely on maritime shipping to sign up.
“Maritime shipping, like all sectors of the global economy, needs to decarbonise rapidly if we are to solve the climate crisis, and multinational companies will be key actors in catalysing a clean energy transition,” said president Dan Porterfield.