Moller Maersk (Maersk)

InfluenceMap Score
Performance Band
Organisation Score
Relationship Score
Modifications to InfluenceMap Scoring
Airlines and Logistics
Copenhagen, Denmark
Brands and Associated Companies
Maersk Line, Damco, Seago Line, Safmarine
Official Web Site:

Climate Lobbying Overview: Moller Maersk (Maersk) appears to have increasingly positive engagement with climate change regulation regarding shipping at a global level, with mixed engagement with EU-level climate policy in 2020-21. Maersk appears supportive of Paris-aligned climate action in its top-line messaging, and has generally advocated for an ambitious global climate strategy for shipping at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in 2019-21. However, it appears to oppose some stringent regional climate measures to regulate shipping, such as the full inclusion of international shipping in the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS).

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: Maersk has mostly positive top-line communications on climate change in 2019-21. In communications from 2021, Maersk stated support for a 1.5°C temperature goal, and its CEO, Søren Skou signed a joint letter calling for net zero global GHG emissions by 2050. In 2020, Maersk also advocated for more ambitious shipping climate regulation at a global level through the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in media comments. In April 2021, Maersk further appeared supportive of US calls for net-zero shipping emissions 2050 target at the IMO, with a Maersk spokesperson later stating at a webinar in May 2021 that the IMO’s ambition of 50% GHG reductions by 2050 “should be strengthened to aim for net-zero emissions in 2050”. However, while Maersk disclosed support for more ambitious global climate regulation for shipping in its 2020 Sustainability Report, a 2020 EU consultation response emphasizes concerns around EU climate regulations for shipping, prioritizing global climate regulation.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: Maersk appears to have mixed engagement with specific climate-related regulations. In the EU, a November 2020 consultation response from Maersk appeared to take an unclear position on including intra-EEA shipping journeys in the EU ETS while advocating for free emissions allowances based on historical performance and urging the EU “to not consider any measure going beyond intra-EEA scope”. Additionally, a CNN report from 2020 suggests Maersk was unsupportive of including shipping in the EU ETS. In 2021 Maersk’s head of regulatory affairs stated support for the initial inclusion of intra-EEA shipping journeys in the EU ETS in 2023-2025 until the introduction of a global shipping carbon levy, later in May 2021 appearing to suggest that the EU ETS could be expanded to all EEA shipping journeys by 2025 “should the IMO not have delivered”. Similarly, a Linkedin Post by Maersk CEO, Søren Skou, in July 2021 in response to the EU's Fit for 55 climate package again only supported expanding the scope of the EU ETS in 2025 "if the IMO has not delivered".

In a 2021 EU consultation response, Maersk further stated support for a higher overall 2030 renewable energy target, and a 14% 2030 EU renewable energy in transport target. In April 2021, Maersk, as part of the Transform to Net Zero initiative, also stated support for a 50% US GHG emissions reduction target for 2030.

Positioning on Energy Transition: Regarding the energy transition, Maersk in 2019-21 has consistently promoted the use of sustainable aviation fuels over LNG for shipping. In April 2021, Maersk’s CEO, Søren Skou, commented to the Wall Street Journal that “we don’t believe that LNG will play a big role as a transition fuel because it’s still a fossil fuel”, with another Maersk spokesperson in May 2021 arguing that “it is borderline greenwashing to call LNG a transition fuel towards the decarbonisation of shipping”. Similarly, other 2021 media reports suggest Maersk supports lower-carbon shipping fuels like green ammonia and green methanol over LNG. Maersk has previously expressed tentative support for a global fuel tax on shipping, with Maersk's former Chief of Operations Søren Toft suggesting in April 2019 that a carbon tax “could be an important mechanism” in the long run, with evidence from 2021 suggesting increased support. Moreover, in June 2021 Maersk announced support for a global carbon tax on shipping fuel starting at $50 in 2025 and ramping up to $150 in subsequent years. In June 2021, Maersk CEO, Søren Skou also signed a joint letter advocating to "eliminate fossil fuel subsidies" globally.

Industry Association Governance: Maersk discloses its membership of a limited number of industry associations in its 2020 sustainability report without providing further details on the companies role within the associations’ governing bodies or influence over their climate positions. However, Maersk discloses this information in more, but not full, detail to CDP. Maersk has not published a review of its alignment with its industry associations. Maersk appears to have improved its indirect engagement with climate policy since selling its subsidiary Maersk Oil to Total SA in 2018. It subsequently appears to no longer participate in trade associations including the International Organization of Gas and Petroleum (IOGP) and the American Petroleum Institute (API) which have strongly negative engagement on climate change regulation. However, the company is on the board of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) which - seemingly in contradiction to many of Maersk’s positions - has actively lobbied against Paris-aligned global climate change regulation for the shipping sector.

Main Web Site Social Media CDP Responses Legislative Consultations Media Reports CEO Messaging Financial Disclosures
Communication of Climate Science
Alignment with IPCC on Climate Action
2 2 NA NS 2 2 NS
Supporting the Need for Regulations
1 1 NA -1 2 2 NS
Support of UN Climate Process
1 2 NS NS 2 2 NS
Transparency on Legislation
Carbon Tax
0 2 1 NS 2 NS NS
Emissions Trading
0 NS 0 -2 -1 0 NS
Energy and Resource Efficiency
Renewable Energy
Energy Transition & Zero Carbon Technologies
1 1 NS NS 1 1 NS
GHG Emission Regulation
NS 2 2 NS 2 NS NS
Disclosure on Relationships
Strength of Relationship

How to Read our Relationship Score Map

In this section, we depict graphically the relationships the corporation has with trade associations, federations, advocacy groups and other third parties who may be acting on their behalf to influence climate change policy. Each of the columns above represents one relationship the corporation appears to have with such a third party. In these columns, the top, dark section represents the strength of the relationship the corporation has with the influencer. For example if a corporation's senior executive also held a key role in the trade association, we would deem this to be a strong relationship and it would be on the far left of the chart above, with the weaker ones to the right. Click on these grey shaded upper sections for details of these relationships. The middle section contains a link to the organization score details of the influencer concerned, so you can see the details of its climate change policy influence. Click on the middle sections for for details of the trade associations. The lower section contains the organization score of that influencer, the lower the more negatively it is influencing climate policy.