News in English 07.02.2008 kl. 00:00

Maersk pollutes as much as all of Denmark

AF By The Copenhagen Post

The carbon emission figures from A. P. Moller-Maersk are equivalent to those of all of Denmark

Statistics, previously kept hidden from the public, showed that the shipping conglomerate A.P. Moller-Maersk emitted as much greenhouse gasses as the entire nation put together.

The company’s container ships used approximately 200,000 litres of oil or the equivalent of a small Danish city.

An annual emission rate of 40-50 million tons of CO2 were attributed to the company’s 1000 ships and activities in the North Sea - a figure that was equivalent to the rest of Denmark put together.

‘This is a huge environmental challenge,’ admitted Nils Smedegaard Andersen, chief executive of the A.P. Moller-Maersk group.

The fact that emission statistics from the transport industry are not included in national figures for greenhouse gas emissions, has met with harsh criticism.

Kirsten Halnæs, a climate expert from Technical University of Denmark, said that climate discussions had to include figures from the transport industry.

Other environment organisations, such as Greenpeace, also felt that Maersk had to be held accountable for the sizeable emission figures, and preferably in Denmark.

‘Despite a large part of Maersk’s fleet being stationed abroad, at the end of the day, it is Maersk’s and Denmark’s responsibility to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,’ said Tarjei Haaland of Greenpeace.

Ejvind Vesselbo, the Liberal party’s environmental spokesperson was surprised at the extent of the figures and said that it would be unfair that Denmark was to be solely responsible for the company’s CO2 emissions.

‘Maersk ships sail everywhere and this problem should be addressed internationally.’