The UK government has announced an ambitious clean maritime plan, committing its fleet to cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
The clean maritime plan, to be implemented as part of the government’s Clean Air Strategy, includes a provision whereby all new ships ordered in the UK after 2025 must be capable of producing zero emissions; and the government is developing plans to launch a consultation next year on ways to incentivise shipping operators to facilitate the transition to zero emissions shipping. Concurrently, the government has issued a Call for Evidence on reducing the UK’s maritime emissions, with the aim of ‘better understand[ing] maritime sector emissions and establish[ing] if government can do more to address this air pollution’.
Also included in the clean maritime plan, part of the Maritime 2050 initiative aimed at maintaining the UK’s status as a world leader in the maritime sector, is a £1m (€1.11m) competition for new innovations designed to reduce emissions from the shipping industry.
Maritime Minister Nusrat Ghani said: “Our maritime sector is vital to the success of the UK’s economy, but it must do everything it can to reduce emissions, improve air quality and tackle climate change. The clean maritime plan sets an ambitious vision for the sector and opens up exciting opportunities for innovation. It will help make the UK a global hub for new green technologies in the maritime sector.”
In a written statement to the House of Commons, Ghani added: “The clean maritime plan…builds on the role the UK played as a leading voice in advocating for an ambitious global target to reduce greenhouse gases [GHGs] from shipping. The initial greenhouse strategy agreed by the International Maritime Organisation in 2018 set a target to reduce GHGs from international shipping by at least 50% by 2050 and to phase them out completely as soon as possible in this century. By publishing the clean maritime plan, the UK becomes one of the first countries since the agreement of this initial strategy to publish a national action plan. The plan is also the first cohesive national strategy to reduce domestic shipping emissions, as part of our journey to meeting net zero.”