The world’s biggest ocean-going shipping company, Copenhagen-based Maersk, is blaming the oil industry for slowing its transition off fossil fuels.
The shipping industry as a whole has been notably slow in its climate response. The UN International Maritime Organization (IMO) was co-recipient of a coveted Fossil of the Day award at the 2015 Paris conference for its sustained efforts to obstruct climate progress, and is frequently singled out as a climate laggard and accused of greenwashing. But Maersk has been pursuing its own path, recently speeding up its carbon neutrality deadline by a decade.
Now, the company’s head of decarbonization, Morten Bo Christiansen, says fossils are blocking the transition to cleaner energy in global supply chains—specifically, Maersk’s own shift to green methanol as a fuel for the carbon-neutral vessels it wants to operate.
“Today, we buy our fuel from the oil companies. But they have not offered us any green methanol at a price point we can accept,” Christiansen told the Financial Times, in an interview later cited by ShippingWatch. “You would have expected that your current supplier would help you find the new juice. But that has not been the case so far.”
Last week, ShippingWatch says, Maersk announced a partnership with the Spanish government to look into large-scale production of what the industry publication calls “climate-friendly marine fuels”.