Maersk quits ICS board over climate change stance

July 13, 2022

Leading ocean carrier Maersk recently announced its withdrawal from the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) board due to disagreements over climate policy, following a review of its memberships based on climate change.

Maersk, one of the world’s largest shipping companies, has been a member of the ICS board for more than a decade, but Maersk executive and board member Henriette Hallberg Thygesen has stepped down following an annual review of trade association memberships.

According to a statement on Maersk’s website, “We examine our membership status once a year to ensure that the trade groups we are members lobby in harmony with the goals of the Paris Agreement as well as other important topics.”

The Paris agreement is a binding international agreement that was established in 2015 that attempts to slow global warming by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. “Our decision to resign from the ICS Board should be viewed in this context,” it stated, without elaborating on why it disagreed with ICS’s approach.

According to Reuters, the decision was made during the ICS annual general meeting on June 22, 2022. Maersk also stated that it would prioritize its participation in the World Shipping Council (WSC), a trade organization for container shippers.

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), which has members from over 40 nations and represents more than 80% of the world’s commercial fleet, promotes “best practices throughout the shipping industry,” according to its website.

ICS declined to comment. Although Maersk is a part of the trade association Danish Shipping, which is a member of ICS, it is not a direct member of ICS.

In order to reach its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, Maersk wants to establish a carbon-neutral fleet by 2030. Around 80% of worldwide trade is carried by the maritime sector, which also produces 3% of the world’s carbon emissions, thus it is high time that shipping companies take climate change seriously and act as soon as they can.

Also read: Alternative Fuels in Shipping: Ammonia, Hydrogen, and Methanol

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