Maersk Proposes $450/MT Carbon Tax for Bunker Fuel

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Thursday June 3, 2021

Shipping giant AP Moller-Maersk, the largest consumer of bunker fuel in the world, is suggesting imposing a global carbon tax of $450 per ton of oil consumed to shift the industry into zero-carbon alternatives.

Maersk CEO Søren Skou made the proposal this week. The suggestion is for a levy of $150 per tonne of carbon dioxide emitted, which would amount to a $450/mt addition to conventional bunker prices.

"Fossil fuels cannot keep being cheaper than green fuels," Skou said in a LinkedIn post on Wednesday. 

"Action is required now.

"It is vital to consider all greenhouse gases, not just CO2, on a full life-cycle analysis, otherwise we will not be able to truly decarbonise shipping by 2050 in line with the Paris Agreement."

Skou's comments come ahead of the IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee meeting next week, which is set to discuss a range of decarbonisation proposals. At present the most prominent measure looking at global carbon taxation for shipping is a proposal from the Marshall Islands delegation, which suggests a $100/mt of CO2 equivalent levy, but even this proposal is currently seen as unlikely to win widespread support among member states.

In the event of little progress being made at the IMO on this subject in the short term, more regional measures are likely to be introduced along the lines of the EU's long-planned inclusion of shipping within its emissions trading system. The UK, China and Singapore are reported to be discussing introducing similar schemes if the EU's plan is carried out successfully.