Maersk leaves world’s biggest shipping organization ICS

July 24, 2022 GENERAL

CITING “inconsistent positions on climate change,” one of the biggest shipping groups in the world, AP Moller-Maersk, has withdrawn its board member from the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), the world’s largest shipping industry organization.

Maersk also announced that it has pursued membership in the World Shipping (WSC), which is reportedly more aligned with its emission reduction agenda.

ICS’s position on decarbonization, wherein it proposes to keep carbon regulation to IMO (International Maritime Organization), and its slow progress on limiting greenhouse gas emissions since the Paris Climate Agreement seems to have hastened Maersk’s decision to leave the organization.

Maersk had recently announced its aim to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in all its businesses by 2040, which is one decade ahead of the initial 2050 goal.

Maersk in a statement said, “We scrutinize our memberships once a year to ensure that the trade organizations of which we are members lobby in accordance with targets of the Paris Agreement and other crucial issues…. Consequently, we assess if their approach and efforts reflect our attitudes and values. One outcome of the 2022 process is our decision to support the strengthening of the [carrier-focused World Shipping Council] and dedicate internal resources hereto. Our choice to step down from the ICS Board should also be seen in this context.”

Maersk is following an “ambitious” climate plan including a $450-per-tonne bunker levy to close the price gap between Very Low Sulphur Fuel Oils (VLSFO) and future fuels. It has also flagged off a research institute in a bid to help find solutions for decarbonization and mitigate the climate crisis.

Maersk is not directly a member of ICS, but its membership was through its affiliation with the Danish Shipping.

Maersk has sat on the ICS board for a decade starting in 2012.

Maersk remains a member of Danish Shipping — an ICS member association — as well as the Baltic and International Maritime Council, Getting to Zero Coalition, WSC, and AP Maersk-McKinney Moller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping, among other initiatives.

The ICS has been established for more than a century and has members from more than 40 countries, representing over 80 percent of the world’s commercial fleet.