A container shipping operator has overtaken several coal plants and an airline in a list of the EU’s top carbon emitters

The analysis said that Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) came in seventh in a list of the top 10 carbon emitters in the EU. Jane Clinton explains in an article on the inews website.


Container shipping operator emits ‘more carbon’ than Ryanair, suggests study

A container shipping operator has overtaken several coal plants and an airline in a list of the EU’s top carbon emitters, according to official data.

The Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) has moved to seventh place with 10.72 megatonnes (Mt) CO2 emissions in 2019 making it a larger emitter of carbon than Ryanair with 10.53 Mt CO2 emissions.

The first six spots of the top ten are dominated by power stations in Germany with a power station in Poland the worst offender with 32.74 Mt CO2 emissions.

While power and other sectors are cutting their emissions in response to EU regulations, commentators have said that shipping pollution remains “untouched”.

Faïg Abbasov, shipping manager at Transport & Environment (T&E) which is a zero-emission mobility system, which analysed the data,  said: “We can’t be at the mercy of global trade trends to tame maritime pollution. MEPs should vote for a system that finally makes ships pay for their emissions and re-invests the money in cleaner boats.”

According to T&E “shipping currently does not pay a cent for its carbon pollution” it has called for ships to “operate more efficiently and use green hydrogen.”

Mr Abbasov added that to achieve full decarbonisation by 2050 European shipping “must improve its carbon intensity by more than 40 per cent between now and 2030.”

Climate impact

A spokesperson for MSC said: “MSC is heavily investing in its fleet and low-carbon technology to support the industry’s transition towards zero carbon future.

“Shipping can be accurately described as the most environmentally sustainable form of cargo mass transportation. Nonetheless, MSC is acutely aware that international shipping has an impact on the climate and our decision to invest in low-carbon technology is complementary to the company’s broader strategic approach to sustainability.”

It questioned the methodology used by T&E and said that “raw data” had to be “analysed accurately and take operational realities fully into account, to give a realistic picture of the related emissions”.

The spokesperson added: “Analysis by Transport & Environment on shipping emissions in the EU, fails yet again to take a number of operational aspects of MSC’s services fully into account, and thus does not offer a complete assessment of our role and impact in terms of emissions. Nor does it support a constructive dialogue around decarbonising shipping.”

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