CMA CGM pulls ahead in zero-emission race, but still trails Maersk in reducing LNG fleet

CMA CGM, the top ocean shipping supplier for Walmart, announced that it has ordered 12 methanol-powered container ships, pulling ahead of Maersk with the most orders for zero-emission ships. In June of last year, the company announced that it had ordered six ships with dual-fuel methanol engines as part of its climate strategy. 

Walmart was revealed to be the worst ocean shipping polluter in 2021, with Target and Home Depot also in the top three. The companies represented the first, second and third largest shares, respectively, of both climate-harming emissions and air pollution from shipping imports. IKEA, Target and Amazon have made commitments to move their goods on ships by 2040, but Walmart has made no such commitment. 

Walmart told Canary Media earlier this year that it is working to reduce or avoid 1 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions in the global value chain by 2030. ​“Reducing emissions from ocean carriers is a priority for Walmart, and we work closely with logistics partners, NGOs and suppliers across the retail industry to scale up more sustainable approaches to transporting products,” a representative said by email to Canary Media.

“We appreciate CMA CGM’s commitment to protecting port communities and taking steps to address climate change with this latest announcement of 12 zero-emission ships, but to truly protect the climate, this major shipper must move off of LNG ships,” said Eric Leveridge, Corporate Climate Campaigner, Pacific Environment. 

“We have no time to waste. Ocean shipping companies and retailers must move towards zero-emissions now. We call on CMA-CGM’s client Walmart to use its power to move the industry and commit to putting its goods on 100% zero-emission ocean ships by 2030.”

“While we applaud CMA CGM’s new investments in cleaner ships, we continue to have concerns with the company’s investments in dozens of fossil gas-powered newbuilds, including liquefied fossil gas (LNG),” said Gary Cook, Global Climate Campaigns Director, 

“CMA CGM also ordered four LNG-powered cargo ships at the same time, which are 70-82% worse for the climate than ships powered with heavy fuel oil. If CMA CGM wants to be a climate champion, it must follow Maersk’s lead, canceling its LNG newbuild orders and shift investment toward wholly zero-emission fuels and vessels.”

Photo credit: iStock/ dani3315

The best maritime news and insights delivered to you.

subscribe maritime fairtrade

Here's what you can expect from us:

  • Event offers and discounts
  • News & key insights of the maritime industry
  • Expert analysis and opinions on corruption and more