Maersk CO2 output 'equal to Denmark'

  


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8 Feb 2008

Denmark's Liberal Party (Venstre) has called for an international agreement to limit emissions from ships following revelations that the shipping and oil exploration activities of A.P. Moller - Maersk emits as much CO2 as the whole of Denmark, its home country. Energy consumption figures presented to the Danish paper Berlingske Tidende by A.P. Moller - Maersk show the shipping giant's 1.000 ships, combined with its North Sea oil activities, contribute 40-50 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions annually. "We are facing a huge environmental challenge," acknowledged Nils Smedegaard Andersen, CEO of A.P. Moller - Maersk. Shipping's carbon footprint has come under increased scrutiny.  Environmentalists have criticised the fact that emissions from international aviation and shipping are not included in the current CO2 figures and reduction targets of individual countries in the European Union. In line with other environmental organisations, Greenpeace wants accountability for CO2 emissions from ships.  "Even if a large portion of the Maersk fleet isn't formally domiciled in Denmark, it is in the end Maersk's - and Denmark's - responsibility to limit CO2 emissions," a Greenpeace representative told Berlingske Tidende.Confronted with the CO2 figures, the environmental spokesman for the Venstre political party said he was surprised at just how big it was.  He said it  would have a seriously negative effect Denmark's CO2 balance sheets if the Maersk fleet emissions were included."It would be unreasonable if Denmark alone was to carry this burden.  Maersk ships sail all around the world, so this is a problem that should be addressed with an international agreement," the spokesman said.Vice President of  A.P. Moller - Maersk, Knud Pontoppidan, told Tradewinds that comparing the company's CO2 output with Denmark's was "not fair", and had only been done because it was based in Denmark."If we were based in the US it would be a relatively small number as that nation's emissions are so high," Pontoppidan said.  He said most of the company's shipping activity, and therefore emissions, took place in China, the US or India.The paper said the Emma Maersk, the world's biggest container ship, would only sail 4.5 meters on one litre of oil.  A container ship burning 200 metric tonnes (mt) of intermediate fuel oil (IFO) per day emits 634 mt CO2 per day, or 177,520 mt of CO2 per year based on 280 days at sea.By comparison, a BMW 1 series car averaging 20,000 kilometres per year produces around 2.8 tonnes of CO2 per year, meaning one container ship emits as much CO2 as 63,400 BMW 1 Series automobiles per year.In the face of recent outcry about its carbon footprint, the shipping industry's main defence is that it is the most energy-efficient mode of transport available.The horsepower of a PS-class vessel like the Emma Maersk equals that of 1,156 family cars, but its carrying capacity means it can achieve very low energy consumption per tonne of cargo carried.The Emma Maersk can carry up to 11,000 full containers weighing 14 tonnes each, equal to a train 71 kilometres long.

Sources:  www.Shipid.com

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