Ambitious targets to cut shipping emissions

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  • zero-emission capable ships to be in UK waters by 2025
  • competition launched to spark innovation in clean maritime technology
  • clean maritime plan part of long-term strategy to keep UK as world leader in maritime sector

All new ships for UK waters ordered from 2025 should be designed with zero-emission capable technologies, in ambitious plans set out by Maritime Minister Nusrat Ghani to cut pollution from the country’s maritime sector.

The commitment is set out in the Clean maritime plan published today (11 July 2019). The government is also looking at ways to incentivise the transition to zero-emission shipping and will consult on this next year.

The plan also includes a £1 million competition to find innovative ways to reduce maritime emissions and is published alongside a call for evidence to reduce emissions on UK waterways and domestic vessels.

The clean maritime plan is part of the government’s Clean Air Strategy, which aims to cut down air pollution across all sectors to protect public health and the environment. It will also help deliver the United Kingdom’s commitment to be net zero on greenhouse gases by 2050.

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.

The maritime sector has already taken significant strides to reduce emissions – hybrid ferries are already being used in UK waters, including in the Scottish islands and on cross-Solent journeys to the Isle of Wight. The Port of London Authority – where the Maritime Minister launched the plan today – also uses hybrid vessels.

Guidance has also today been issued to ports to assist them in developing air quality strategies. This will both address their own operations and support improving air quality across the country.

A further consultation to increase the uptake of low carbon fuels will also take place next year.

The clean maritime plan is part of the government’s Maritime 2050, a long-term strategy published in January 2019 to keep the UK as a world leader in the maritime sector for decades to come.

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