The UK government has published the Clean Maritime Plan, an ambitious plan to cut pollution from the country’s maritime sector.
Launched by Maritime Minister Nusrat Ghani MP in London, the plan says that all new ships for UK waters ordered from 2025 should be designed with zero-emission capable technologies.
The government is also looking at ways to incentivize the transition to zero-emission shipping and will consult on this next year.
The plan also includes a GBP 1 million (USD 1.25 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.
“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,” Maritime Minister Nusrat Ghani commented.
“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,” Ghani continued.
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 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.
“We welcome the government’s Clean Maritime Plan, which is a solid foundation on which the industry and government must build,” Mark Simmonds, Head of Policy, at the British Ports Association, said in a separate statement.
“Industry will be responsible for delivering on the ambitions in this plan and the wider ‘net zero’ targets. As the plan rightly sets out, success will depend on long-term close collaboration.”
Stating that the BPA is ready to work with the country’s government on these challenges, Simmonds added: “The UK has enjoyed a decades-long consensus that a market-led ports sector delivers world-class infrastructure and services to the international shipping industry which carries 95% of our trade. We believe that approach, in collaboration with the Government, can be brought to bear to tackle humanity’s greatest challenge.”
Back in October 2018, Minister Ghani met for the first time with the Clean Maritime Council to devise a strategy aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the sector and improving air quality on and around the UK’s waterways, ports and shipping lanes.
The environment is also an important part of the government’s Maritime 2050 strategy, a long term look at the opportunities for the sector for the next 30 years.