Skou sees bunker tax hitting $450 per tonne

Søren Skou, CEO of A.P. Moller – Maersk, has put a dollar figure on what he’d like to see for a carbon tax for shipping.

With the International Maritime Organization’s Marine Environment Protection Committee set to meet this month, many big names in the industry are weighing in with their preferred methods to get shipping moving on the path to decarbonisation.

For Skou, who oversees the world’s largest containerline, taxing existing bunker fuel is deemed essential for shipping’s green transition with the Dane saying yesterday he favoured a global tax of at least $450 per tonne of fuel oil — which works out at approximately $150 per tonne of CO2 — in the medium term at the current oil price.

Skou did not put a date to this medium term ambition, but he has gone on the record stating that he wants a carbon tax to be in place by as early as 2025.

“Fossil fuels cannot keep being cheaper than green fuels. 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 stated in post on social media platform, LinkedIn.

Skou discussed the same topic during a virtual summit hosted by the World Economic Forum last week.

“IMO, in our view, needs to deliver a market-based measure by 2025 that can be implemented in the second half of this decade,” Skou stressed last week, adding: “It needs to be at a reasonable level that actually tries to level the playing field between much more expensive green fuels and fossil fuels but it also has to very, very importantly include all greenhouse gases and it has to consider the full lifecycle of the fuel.”

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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