CMA CGM Group Targets Carbon Neutrality by 2050

(file photo)

Published Jun 3, 2020 6:44 PM by The Maritime Executive

CMA CGM Group became the latest large shipping company to accelerate its goals to achieve carbon neutrality.  

Participating in the UN Global Compact conference, Chairman and CEO Rodolphe Saadé announced that the company’s objective is now to be carbon neutral by 2050. He also said that the company’s energy supplies would include 10 percent alternative fuels by 2023. These are new goals for one of the world’s largest shipping companies, which previously said it was on track to reduce its CO2 emissions by 40 percent by 2030, a target set by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). 

“We must move forward, it’s time to act!” said Saadé speaking at the UN conference. “In 2019, we reduced our total CO2 emissions by 6 percent. These significant reductions were made possible thanks to our mobilization, the technological innovations implemented, and improved management of vessel operations.”

The company's announcement joins many other sectors of the industry that have also announced their plans to accelerate towards the goal of carbon neutral. For its part, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) does not have a formal definition for decarbonization, but has adopted a greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction strategy that includes calls for at least a 40 percent decline in CO2 emissions as an average across international shipping by 2030, and pursuing 50 percent reductions by 2050.

Recently, in the oil and gas sector, both Total and BP announced plans for their own companies to get to net zero emissions by 2050. Similarly, just last month the Norwegian Shipowners' Association also set the ambitious goal to hit the IMO 2050 target two decades early and to achieve climate neutrality across its entire fleet by 2050.

For its part, CMA CGM has been pursuing a broad range of efforts including since 2018 taking delivery of its first LNG-powered vessels, ordering additional LGN power container ships, and accelerating the deployment of biofuel. Saadé noted that in 2020 the company will launch its new 23,000 TEU LNG-powered vessels, confirming CMA CGM's ambition for the energy transition of the shipping industry.

Previously, the group reported that between 2005 and 2015 it had achieved a 50 percent reduction in CO2 emissions per container transported per kilometer. It reported a further 17 percent reduction between 2015 and 2018, in line with its previously stated goal of a 30 percent reduction by 2025.