WE CANNOT AFFORD TO WAIT, WE NEED GLOBAL MARKET-BASED MEASURE, MSC CEO TELLS ONE OCEAN SUMMIT

Posted by Bruno Monteiro
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one ocean summit

Today, 11 February 2022, MSC CEO Soren Toft joined Head of States and CEOs of other major container lines to discuss ocean protection and the importance of decarbonising shipping at the One Ocean Summit, a global summit dedicated to the protection of the oceans organized by French President Emmanuel Macron.

“At MSC, our heritage is the sea, our present is the sea, and our future is the sea,” Soren said.

During his speech, he focused on MSC’s commitment to achieving net decarbonisation by 2050 without relying on offsetting.

“We don’t know how long the transition period will last – 5, 10, 15 years or longer – but we cannot afford to wait,” he said. “While we do not know precisely how to achieve this end state, we do understand the importance as a global leader to push the development of the solutions.”

Ship operators may not have the fuels of the future on tap today, but MSC started preparing for the future many years ago and the company has been working hard to ensure that it can adapt its vessels for the various options that might become available at scale within a small number of years.

The task of decarbonising the supply chains is very challenging, and no single company can achieve this alone. Global collaboration between different stakeholders in the global energy supply chain is urgently needed. To foster collaboration, MSC supports establishing a global R&D fund under the supervision of the International Maritime Organization which would help accelerate research, development, and deployment of zero carbon technologies.

“The challenge isn’t the ships. The real challenge is fuel availability and for this we need to work together, and really push and incentivize fuel providers to develop and deliver the new fuels for us.”

The two commitments Soren highlighted during his speech were:

  • MSC is committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2050, without reliance on external offsetting: Decarbonisation remains at the top of the company’s agenda. To accelerate this important energy transition to more expensive fuels, MSC fully supports the idea behind a global market based measure, incorporating carbon pricing. This will directly reduce the price gap between fossil fuels and zero-carbon fuels as they become available. What is important, is that this becomes a global market-based measure.
     
  • MSC has ruled out the Arctic Northern Sea Route: In 2019 MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company made public a commitment to put the preservation of the Arctic environment ahead of profits. This commitment was further reiterated at the event when Soren re-confirmed MSC will not seek to cut through the melting ice of the Arctic to find a new transit route for commercial shipping.

With the commitments made at the event, the major global shipping lines including MSC provided a united signal to policy makers that the carriers of global trade are committed to a sustainable future for the supply chain.

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