Macron brings shipping big guns together to speed up the industry’s decarbonisation

During his first term as president of France, Emmanuel Macron has shown a great interest in cleaning up international shipping.

At his own personal invite, the heads of Europe’s four largest containerlines, MSC, Maersk, CMA CGM and Hapag-Lloyd, were present (pictured) in Brest in the northwest of the country last week, attending the One Ocean Summit, during which the liner bosses committed to a far more aggressive decarbonisation drive than current legislation stipulates.

During his speech on decarbonisation, MSC CEO Soren Toft said: “The challenge isn’t the ships. The real challenge is fuel availability and for this we need to work together, and really push and incentivise fuel providers to develop and deliver the new fuels for us.”

Also at the event, a zero emissions concept vessel design was unveiled while France’s CMA CGM announced it will from June 1 no longer carry plastic waste on its ships.

Another high profile name addressing the summit was Antonio Guterres, the secretary-general of the United Nations, who told delegates that shipping must contribute to a 45% cut in global emissions by 2030 and reach zero emissions by 2050 to limit global warming to 1.5C.

Among other key takeaways from the summit, a number of port authorities and stakeholders signed a joint commitment to reduce the environmental impact of port calls with a far greater roll out of shore-side electricity by 2028.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


  1. I hope this is not a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing. The issue is clearly the range of fuelling options and the development of a worldwide production and dispensing infrastructure for any replacements for oil based fuels. This still overlooks the whole issue of the emissions from landside operations including ports, inland terminals and land transport. The silo mentality is alive and well by ignoring this.

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