Maersk’s Decarbonization Proposal: $450 Per Tonne Bunker Tax

Søren Skou, the CEO of Maersk, on Thursday, laid out the most ambitious decarbonization proposal in the history of the shipping industry.

Maersk's Decarbonization Proposal: $450 Per Tonne Bunker Tax
Maersk’s Decarbonization Proposal: $450 Per Tonne Bunker Tax

Skou called out, at a ‘carbon tax’ of at least $450 per ton of bunker fuel, which is equivalent of $150 per tonne CO2. The proposal, though substantially lower than Trafigura’s estimate of $750-900 per tonne of bunker fuel, equivalent to $250-300 per tonne CO2, is far more ambitious than ICS’ $2 Bunker levy, or Marshall Island’s $100 tax plan, where they demanded IMO to set $100 per tonne levy on emissions.

Also Read: MSC To Overtake Maersk As The World’s Largest Container Line

Skou said, “We propose a carbon tax on ship fuel of at least $450 per ton fuel ($150 per ton CO2), a levy to bridge the gap between the fossil fuels consumed by vessels today and greener alternatives that are currently more expensive”. He also emphasized the fact that it is the joint responsibility of all shipping companies around the world, to do everything in their power, to reduce global carbon emissions.

Interestingly, Maersk Group controls about 8% of the global volume of bunker fuel. Making them the world’s largest buyer of the same. Keeping the present bunker prices in account, the proposed tax would approximately double their fuel expense!

Ensuring that low-carbon options are kept competitive, the CEO called for an IMO-mandated uniform bunker tax. Skou further stated, that the future of shipping fuel, would be “some kind of combination” between methanol and ammonia, and that is going to be more expensive. Thus, a carbon tax implementation in the second half of the decade would make sense.

Skou also stressed out the fact that LNG is not a solution to achieve sustainability, and the fact that he is worried about this narrative around LNG.

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