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DUBAI: The heads of major European-based shipping lines have called for an end to fossil-fuel powered newbuilds and urged the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to accelerate the industry's transition to green fuels.

The CEOs of A.P. Moller – Maersk, CMA-CGM, Hapag-Lloyd, Mediterranean Shipping Lines (MSC) and Wallenius Wilhelmsen say the only way for maritime shipping to reach net-zero by 2050 is “to transition from fossil to green fuels at scale and at pace”.

Their joint declaration at COP 28 calls for the IMO to establish four regulation-based operating environments:

• An end date for new building of fossil fuel-only vessels and a clear greenhouse gas (GHG) ‘Intensity Standard’ timeline.
• An effective GHG pricing mechanism to make green fuel competitive with black fuel during the transition phase when both are used.
• A vessel pooling option for GHG regulatory compliance where the performance of a group of vessels could count instead of only that of individual ships.
• A Well-to-Wake or lifecycle GHG regulatory basis to align investment decisions with climate interests and mitigate the risk of stranded assets.

The five carriers – four container lines with a combined majority of world capacity and a global operator of RoRo-based marine logistics – say they are convinced the IMO is key to enabling the cost of the green transition as well mitigating the risk of extreme weather events.

Reflecting the collective view of his peers, MSC CEO Soren Toft said the support of governments would be an “essential element” to reach net-zero by 2050. “But without the full support from other stakeholders particularly energy providers it will be extremely difficult to meet those objectives - no one can do this alone.

“Today it feels like we are one step closer in this regard, but concrete supply of alternative fuels and globally recognised GHG pricing are essential to achieve our goals,” he added.

“Our collective responsibility for a sustainable future and clean practices is paramount,” declared Hapag-Lloyd CEO Rolf Habben Jansen.

“The momentum for green fuel is building and we are pleased to see strong partnerships across the industry as we continue our joint efforts of making decarbonisation in shipping successful,” said Vincent Clerc, CEO of A.P. Moller – Maersk.

“By collaborating with others, we each take a new step in our energy transition, while ensuring a collective level playing field and access to greener fuels for the industry, CMA CGM CEO Rodolphe Saadé concluded.

Noting the rising cost of climate change is far greater than the cost of the green transition the executives say they look forward to being joined by other companies in the maritime industry.

According to Axmarine’s Alphaliner database, as of December 01, 2023 the top 100 container shipping lines operated 6,750 vessels worldwide with a total capacity of 28.2 million 20ft equivalent units (TEU).
Story Type: News

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