Ship It Zero Coalition urges CMA CGM to go zero-emissions now

CMA-CGM, the top ocean shipping supplier for Walmart, announced that it has ordered six ships with dual-fuel methanol engines as part of its climate strategy, following the initial leadership of competitor Maersk. Still, the company also ordered 10 LNG fueled ships — relying on toxic chemicals and methane-emitting fossil fuels to ship goods worldwide. 

CMA-CGM simultaneously announced that it tripled its profits by 70% to US$18.22 billion since the first quarter last year as the pandemic raged through the world.

“We appreciate that CMA-CGM has taken a step forward for the health of our oceans, vulnerable port neighborhoods, ship workers, and global community by ordering six dual-fuel methanol powered ships for use by 2025,” said Dawny’all Heydari, Ship It Zero Campaign Lead, Pacific Environment, in a statement on June 6. 

“We call on the company to invest its record-breaking pandemic-era profits into 100% zero-emissions fuels from well-to-wake to power these ships in order to do its part to defeat the climate crisis during these most decisive years of human history. Further, we call on CMA-CGM to cancel its orders for 10 LNG-powered ships, given that LNG is a major source of methane emissions, a climate super polluter.”

Kendra Ulrich, Shipping Campaigns Director and Ship IT Zero Campaign Lead at Stand.earth, said: “While we are encouraged to see CMA CGM finally making investments in cleaner vessels with these methanol dual-fuel vessel orders, the company remains one of the worst climate offenders amongst container ship operators. 

“It has invested billions in recent years in dozens of fossil gas powered newbuilds, including nine of the world’s largest LNG container ships. Liquefied fossil gas is primarily methane, a greenhouse gas that traps 86 times more heat on a short and mid-term time frame than CO2. 

“Powering marine vessels with fossil gas is between 70-82% worse for the climate than business as usual. If CMA CGM wants to be a climate champion, it must end its LNG newbuild program and invest wholly in zero emissions fuels and vessels.” 

The Ship It Zero campaign, led by environmental advocacy organizations Stand.earth and Pacific Environment, is calling on some of the U.S.’s largest maritime importers — including Target, Amazon, IKEA, and Walmart — to transition to 100% zero-emissions cargo shipping vessels by 2030. 

This goal will ensure the shipping industry does its fair share in helping to keep global warming under 1.5 degrees Celsius, the target scientists say is needed to avoid the worst consequences of the climate crisis.

Photo credit: iStock/ Fokusiert

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