Sohmen-Pao urges shipping to come up with its own carbon levy

Shipping must urgently draft its own carbon levy, one of the world’s top shipowners has said today.

Speaking at the Global Maritime Forum’s annual summit in Singapore where decarbonisation talk has topped the agenda over the past couple of days, Andreas Sohmen-Pao, chairman of BW Group, said: “To meet international shipping’s decarbonisation challenge, the maritime industry needs a carbon levy, it is coming, and we should shape it.”

The BW boss continued: “We have an opportunity to shape a new maritime future, create a new business opportunity and drive innovation. A maritime green fund could accelerate decarbonisation in shipping, support scaling and infrastructure to deliver new fuels, while taking into consideration the impact on trade and developing states.”

In a video interview, Sohmen-Pao went on to call for a level playing field for shipping and an end to “patchwork” legislation.

Carbon taxes for shipping are firmly back in the headlines with much debate about how to implement them.

The French finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, discussed with reporters this month his government’s plans to lobby the European Union to implement taxes for airline and shipping fuel.

“It’s incomprehensible that carbon emissions targets were set for cars and not for airplanes and ships. We propose that work is done on a European tax on airplane and ship fuel,” Le Maire said.

Speaking with sister title Splash Extra yesterday, Dr Tristan Smith from UCL Energy Institute in London, said: “Carbon pricing, especially where the revenue is recycled back into the sector, can be very useful at stimulating the early adopters of zero emission shipping who in turn can help bring down the costs – with support from the policy – so that the mass market transition is as low cost as possible.”

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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