The announcement from Maersk CEO Soren Skou makes the shipping company the first carrier to offer such a proposal and comes a week before the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) meets in London to consider new decarbonisation measures.
Maersk called the proposed tax, which equates to $450 per tonne of fuel at today's oil prices, a move that would 'bridge the gap' between fossil fuels and greener options that not only cost more, but are years away from being available at scale, reports IHS Media.
'In 2025, there will not be sufficient carbon-neutral fuels available,' the carrier said in a statement. 'But gradually introducing a market-based measure from 2025 will accelerate the scaling of fuel transition over the last part of the decade, as well as incentivize fuel efficiency measures and retrofits in the existing global fleet.'
The push to move on decarbonisation measures is very much a domino effect, wherein shippers feel heat from external forces, then in turn apply pressure on carriers. Shippers are being pressed by consumers and investors to curb so-called Scope 3 emissions, which include emissions generated by vendors, including transport providers such as container carriers.
But according to Mr Skou, without a financial incentive, those pressures may not be enough to get companies to decarbonise.
'Fossil fuels cannot keep being cheaper than green fuels. Action is required now,' he said in a statement posted on LinkedIn. 'It is vital to consider all greenhouse gases, not just CO2, on a full life cycle analysis, otherwise we will not be able to truly decarbonise shipping by 2050 in line with the Paris Agreement.'