Maersk backs Clean Shipping Act

Moscow Maersk
Illustration; Image Courtesy: Maersk

Container shipping major Maersk has voiced support for the Clean Shipping Act, the first stand-alone legislation in the U.S. that aims to address pollution from the shipping industry.

Illustration; Image Courtesy: Maersk

The bill was introduced into the U.S. Congress in July 2022 by Congressman Alan Lowenthal who represents the Port of Long Beach, one of the nation’s busiest cargo ports, and cosponsored by Congresswoman Nanette Barragán who represents the neighboring Port of Los Angeles.

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The bill sets carbon intensity standards for fuels used by ships and aims to eliminate in-port ship emissions by 2030.

Specifically, the legislation directs the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to tighten carbon intensity standards for fuels used by ships consistent with a 1.5° Celsius decarbonization pathway. These standards would require lifecycle carbon dioxide-equivalent reductions of 20 percent from January 1, 2027, 45 percent from January 1, 2030, 80 percent from January 1, 2035, and 100 percent from January 1, 2040, relative to the 2024 emissions baseline.

Furthermore, by January 1, 2030, all ships at-berth or at-anchor in U.S. ports would be required to emit zero GHG emissions and zero air pollutant emissions.

Congresswoman Barragán noted that there is a need for leadership from the federal government and the private sector to transition as quickly as possible to zero-emissions shipping industry. 

As explained by Simon Bergulf, Sr. Director of ESG Public and Regulatory Affairs at Maersk, the company is ‘particularly happy’ to see that the Clean Shipping Act of 2022 bases itself on a fuel lifecycle and a carbon dioxide-equivalent i.e. all relevant greenhouse gases.

“The suggested pathway for carbon intensity standards in the Clean Shipping Act is ambitious. A.P. Moller – Maersk has set a 25% target of all cargo to be transported using renewable fuels by 2030. However, we also believe that this target could be higher if the right incentives for the production of cost competitive renewable marine fuels are in place and we hope that the U.S. will strive for securing precisely that in order to achieve a 45% reduction in 2030,” Bergulf said.

Maersk’s Vice President of U.S. Government Relations, Doug Morgante also urged Congress to pass the legislation, adding that the most significant challenge is the availability and cost competitiveness of the green fuels necessary to reach net zero targets.

“We need such ambition from key nations, including short-term targets and we hope that this bill receives the needed support to be passed.”

A.P. Møller-Maersk has worked on the decarbonization of the shipping sector for over a decade,” A.P. Møller-Maersk CEO, Soren Skou said, adding that in order to demonstrate and accelerate the transition, “clear signals from leading nations such as the U.S. and regions such as the E.U. are needed, even if such measures are inherently regional in their reach.”

Skou is on the road at the moment, visiting Egypt, Brazil, Chile and India among other countries.

Earlier this week, Maersk’s CEO met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi. Maersk believes that Egypt will play a key role in the green transition, as the country has ambitious development plans and is particularly well-placed both from a shipping and renewable energy perspective.

We look forward to building on our long common history starting with concrete progress at the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Sharm El-Sheikh,” Maersk said.

It is a privilege to be able to meet up face-to-face after the Covid lockdowns and continue the work with important stakeholders all over the world to discuss how we can continue to develop solutions for the future of end-to-end decarbonised supply chains.”

Earlier this year Maersk signed a partnership deal with Egyptian authorities to explore the establishment of large-scale green fuel production in the country.

As part of the agreement, the parties will be conducting a feasibility study before the end of 2022 to examine Egypt-based hydrogen and green marine fuel production, powered by renewable energy with Maersk as a committed offtaker.

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