MSC has claimed it is strongly committed to reducing CO2 emissions and supporting long term goals to fully decarbonise shipping following criticism from NGO Transport & Environment (T&E) over its environmental record.
Research from T&E found that the carrier would be the eight biggest carbon emitter in the EU if shipping was part of the bloc’s emissions trading system (ETS), after emitting 11m tonnes of CO2 in 2018.
The shipping line stated: “MSC fully supports reporting CO2 emissions transparently and precisely in the European Union (EU) Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) system, as mandated by EU legislation.
“It is however vital that the raw data reported in the system are analysed accurately and take operational realities fully into account, to give a realistic picture of the related emissions.”
The carrier criticised the T&E analysis, claiming that only 40-45% of the 11 million tons of emissions reported in the MRV were actually in the EU.
It pointed out that shipowners are mandated to report consumption and CO2 emission data for voyages starting and terminating in EU ports, even if sections of the voyage occurred outside the EU.
It explained: “As an example, a ship carrying fruits from the Caribbean to Northern Europe and back needs to report emissions for the whole distance of the trip, even though only part of it takes place in the EU. As a result, the actual emissions in the EU for this particular ship may be up to 65% less than is recorded in the MRV.”
MSC also said that while it uses its own feedering services which contribute to its carbon footprint, other carriers use third party services which enables them to report lower emissions figures.
It further claimed that although the T&E report ranks MSC as the third most efficient shipping line based on real-world operational efficiency, its energy efficiency is greater than T&E found.
The carrier reiterated that container shipping is far more carbon-efficient that car or air transport, noting: “For example, transporting a shipload of board games for Christmas between Marseille and Rotterdam would produce 2.6 tonnes CO2 emissions if carried by sea (1 ship).
“If carried by road, we would need 60 trucks to transport the same amount of board games and the total emissions would jump to 692 tonnes.”