Saturday, August 24, 2019

"Macron Asks Shippers to Shun Arctic Route to Protect Environment" CMA CGM Says 'Oui'

First up, from Bloomberg:
French President Emmanuel Macron is calling on container lines to avoid using a new Arctic shipping route to protect the environment.

Speaking at the start of the Group of Seven summit in Biarritz in southwest France on Saturday, Macron said France’s biggest shipping line, CMA CGM, has committed not to use the so-called Northern Sea Route being promoted by Russia as a faster way to ship cargo between Asia and Europe.

“Many people today are explaining to us: global warming, tremendous news, the ice will melt in the north, we’ll open a much quicker route, it’s great,” Macron said. “This route will kill us in the end, because this route may well be quicker, but it is the consequence of our past irresponsibility.”
The French president is pushing for tougher action on climate change, and environmental issues have taken center stage in the run-up to the gathering of major economies, with the president slamming Brazilian leader Jair Bolsonaro over fires in the Amazon rain forest.

Russia is betting on growth in cargo shipments along its northern coast and is aiming to free up the passage all-year round using a new fleet of nuclear icebreakers. While the route is currently closed for about half the year due to thick ice, A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S, the world’s largest container line, completed a test run last September....MORE
And at FreightWaves:
CMA CGM will not ship via Arctic waters as part of green pledge

Now what about this, June 4:
"French Cruise Ship Set to Travel to North Pole in 2021"
This does not seem like a good idea.
Not at all....
...With other types of eco-tourism you can at least make the rationalization that the tourists will spend some money in what are usually pretty poor places. Not on board a boat in the middle of the ice pack though.

And speaking of money, there's the issue of how big a rescue bond should be posted—$10 million might prove to be insufficient depending on the complexity of the rescue.

One positive, with the LNG powertrains they won't be spewing carbon particulates onto the ice, something the Chinese coal-fired power plants do with awful effects on the albedo of the great white north. (Russia burning heavy fuel oil up there doesn't help)

You need the ice.
So the polar bears can walk out to nosh on passengers should the boat get stuck for too long.

Here's Ponant's homepage for Le Commandant Charcot, it does look fascinating.