Saadé gets Macron to lead shipping’s new fuel quest

The president of France had an especially busy day yesterday. Prior to locking horns with Donald Trump over NATO matters in London, Emmanuel Macron was in Montpellier where he was asked to lead the world towards a greener form of maritime transport.

Macron was guest of honour at the French Maritime Economy Conference where Rodolphe Saadé, the chairman of CMA CGM, urged the French president to initiate an international coalition for the energy transition of the transportation sector in an urgent bid to find more competitive and less carbon-intensive energy sources.

On stage, Macron accepted to actively support this initiative, whose first forum could be held during the World Conservation Congress due to be held in Marseille in June next year.

The so-called Eco-Energetic Transition of the Maritime Sector project is being led by the French Maritime Cluster, the French Environment & Energy Management Agency, Bureau Veritas and CMA CGM. The aim is to carry out an inventory of available technologies and new developments in ship propulsion. The data collected will help guide and structure future work. To this end, the French Maritime Cluster has just signed with the Global Maritime Forum and the Getting to Zero Coalition to drive further decarbonisation efforts.

“With the support of the French president, France will launch a major global coalition for the energy of tomorrow,” Saadé said.

Macron has stepped up his interest in green shipping matters markedly this year, becoming a high profile supporter of slow steaming regulations, something he brought up again yesterday.

At the same event in Montpellier yesterday, CMA CGM’s Saadé also announced the choice of Marseille-Fos as its LNG bunkering hub in the Mediterranean. The French liner is the most invested among all container lines in LNG propulsion.

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.
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