Marking the start of the greenest London International Shipping Week yet, the UK backs a world-leading absolute zero target for international shipping emissions by 2050, as announced by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps 13 September 2021. This 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.
This announcement comes as the government launches the greenest ever London International Shipping Week, building on a string of initiatives aimed at slashing emissions and establishing the UK as international leaders in green maritime.
At a speech on 15 September, the Transport Secretary will announce the winners of the multimillion-pound Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition. Focused on innovative green maritime solutions, the competition was launched as part of the Prime Minister's ten point plan for a green industrial revolution last November. The Transport Secretary 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. For further information see the IDTechEx report on Electric Leisure & Sea-going Boats and Ships 2021-2040.
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 (DfT) focused on decarbonising the maritime sector.
Transport Secretary Grant 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."
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.
Maritime UK chair Sarah Kenny said: "The government's leadership on global shipping targets will be welcomed across the sector. The UK is the natural home for maritime business and will play a pivotal role in helping this most global of sectors to decarbonise. There are already fantastic technologies being developed and deployed here, and the industry is determined that these accelerate in close partnership with government. The UK will rise to the challenge and, in doing so, create tens of thousands of green jobs in coastal communities across the UK. International challenges require international solutions and it's right government seeks to lead regulatory action here in London. We can play a leading role in driving change globally and this starts at London International Shipping Week."
Throughout the week, ministers and industry will be leading a host of events taking stock of the sector's progress. Kicking off with a ministerial roundtable at the Foreign Office on 13 September, leaders from across the sector will discuss how to level up all parts of the UK with a focus on decarbonisation, coastal communities and port towns and industries. DfT will publish its Maritime Biennial Report on 14 September, outlining the strength of the sector, the next phase for its recovery from the pandemic and progress on our ambitious Maritime 2050 strategy. On 15 September, the Transport Secretary will announce the winners of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition, while the Maritime Minister, Robert Courts will be at Port of Southampton opening the newest cruise terminal, which is the greenest one yet. Minister Courts is also set to take centre stage on 16 September at the coveted gala dinner in the iconic National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, the heart of British maritime, where he will outline the future for UK maritime and the opportunities that exist as we build global trading networks. The week will be rounded off with the Maritime Minister joining Mersey Maritime on 17 September for its annual awards event, where he will present the DfT Maritime 2050 Award - celebrating industry action towards our shared Maritime 2050 ambitions.
Source and top image: UK Government