The UK has said it wants to see the global maritime industry achieve net zero emissions by 2050 with Transport Secretary Grant Shapps urging the International Maritime Organisation to agree a pathway to achieve the aim.
Shapps was speaking at the launch of London International Shipping Week today which has been hailed as the greenest yet.
He said the net zero target, which would need to be agreed through the International Maritime Organization, would be a significant increase of ambition for the sector, which is currently accountable for 3% of global emissions.
The UK’s plan would see zero emission vessels entering into commercial service by 2025 opening the possibility for cleaner and greener channel crossings in the next decade.
The announcement came as the UK Government launched London International Shipping Week, building on a string of initiatives aimed at slashing emissions and establishing the UK as international leaders in green maritime.
Today the Transport Secretary will announce the winners of the multimillion pound Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition, focused on innovative green maritime solutions, launched as part of the Prime Minister’s Ten-Point plan for a green industrial revolution last November.
He is also expected to reassert the importance of building a thriving maritime sector focused on innovation, highlighting his ambition to have zero emission vessels entering into commercial service by 2025 which opens the possibility for cleaner and greener channel crossings in the next decade.
These initiatives follow on from commitments outlined in the world-leading Transport Decarbonisation Plan to explore the establishment of a UK Shipping Office for Reducing Emissions (UK SHORE), a dedicated unit within the Department for Transport focused on decarbonising the maritime sector.
Shapps said: “As a maritime nation with a rich history, and host of COP26 this year, we are proud to be at the forefront of the greener era for maritime, charting an international course for the future of clean shipping.
“I’m incredibly excited by the changes happening in this sector, with the speed of progress highlighted by the prospect of zero emission commercial vessels in UK waters in the next few years and green Channel crossings within a decade.
“Taking action now allows us to lead the charge on this global shift, creating highly-skilled jobs for British workers and shaping the landscape for what clean shipping and trade will look like for future generations.”
He added as the greenest shipping week to date, the UK is focused on working in collaboration with the sector to build a strong sustainable future for UK maritime. As recently published in the intergovernmental panel on climate change report, warming is happening quicker than previously estimated, therefore action is needed across all sectors and the UK will do all it can to slash emissions from shipping.