On Thursday, Maersk CEO Søren Skou pledging a carbon tax of at least $450 per tonne of bunker fuel ($150 per tonne CO2 equivalent) to one of the most optimistic carbon reduction initiatives in the shipping industry. The proposal is far more ambitious than the $2 bunker levy of ICS and the $100 tax plan of the Marshall Islands, although it is significantly less than the Trafigura estimate for an effective GHG tax of $750-900 per tonne of bunkers ($250-300 per tonne of CO2 equivalent).
Skou commented, "We suggest a carbon tax on ship fuel of at least $450 per tonne fuel ($150 per tonne CO2), a subsidy to bridge the gap between the fossil fuels consumed by vessels nowadays and cleaner and safer, alternative solutions presently quite costly."
Maersk Group is the world's biggest purchaser of bunker fuel, accounting for roughly 8% of the estimated worldwide capacity. At current bunker rates, the tax would nearly double its fuel expenditure. Skou, on the other hand, stated in a World Economic Forum webinar on May 27 that an additional handful of billion dollars per year in fuel costs for Maersk would result in peanuts of added costs for the end-user. Furthermore, Maersk's largest business customers are establishing scientific climate goals for their distribution network and are solving the problems.
Skou called for an IMO-commanded "level-playing field" in the form of a consistent bunker tax to ensure that the low-carbon options are profitable. Skou mentioned, "We now understand that green fuel will be the future. It will be a mixture of methanol and ammonia. And we realise it's going to be costly, so a carbon tax makes complete sense for us, and we're contacting for this to be enforced in the preceding two years."
He highlighted that every business action to promote green fuel should consider taking all greenhouse emissions into account – especially methane. "Because I am concerned more about the LNG narrative, I say that," said Skou. "It's not a perfect answer, and therefore we should stop talking regarding LNG as anything to do with environmental issues."