Søren Skou, CEO at Maersk

World - Maersk CEO demands end date for fossil fuel use in shipping

AP Møller-Maersk CEO Soren Skou wants the maritime industry to accelerate its shift to climate-friendly fuels by emulating the EU, which has announced a ban on internal combustion engines (ICEs) in cars by 2035.

After Mr Skou’s social media posts today apparently caused some confusion, Maersk was at pains to emphasise that shipping needed to enter into a process rather than set a fixed date.

He said: “The EC is proposing to end production of combustion engine cars. The IMO should do the same for fossil-fuelled ships, with ambitious targets and measures to decarbonise shipping.”

According to Maersk, Twitter and Linkedin messages by Mr Skou formed part of an interview by German newspaper Der Spiegel last week, in which he called for a ban on ICEs in the maritime sector after a price-levelling process that would stimulate the production of alternative low-carbon fuels.

Mr Skou told Der Spiegel a global CO2 tax should rise incrementally, explaining: “Initially, $50/tonne, then $100 and, within two-three years, going to $150/tonne for container shipping.

“Green fuel will still be more expensive than fossil fuel for a while. That’s why we have to make fossil fuel more expensive and, at some point, ban new fossil-fuelled ships completely.”

A Maersk spokesperson said the date for banning ICEs in shipping would not be the same as the ban in the automotive industry, because ships and the maritime sector were different. A maritime ban on ICEs will be dependant on when the price gap between conventional and low carbon fuels has narrowed.

However, the process for achieving zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions should follow the pattern of that used by the EU.

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