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World’s largest shipping company pledges to bring carbon emissions to zero by 2050

Maersk, the world’s largest container shipping company, has promised to cut the net carbon emissions it produces to zero by 2050.

To do so, the Danish company said it would need to modernize its entire fleet of cargo ships and revolutionize its entire supply chain.

“We will have to abandon fossil fuels. We will have to find a different type of fuel or a different way to power our assets. This is not just another cost-cutting exercise. It’s far from that. It’s an existential exercise, where we as a company need to set ourselves apart,” Maersk’s chief operating officer, Soren Toft, told the Financial Times

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Cargo container ships currently contribute about 3 percent of the world’s emissions, and the industry as a whole says it is committed to ending carbon emissions completely. The shipping industry accounts for roughly 80 percent of all global trade.

Toft acknowledged reaching such a goal will not be easy.

“To reach the target by 2050, in the next 10 years we need some big breakthroughs,” Toft said. 

He said that as Maersk has grown over the past 10 years, it has already been able to cut its per-container carbon emissions by 46 percent since 2007.