All new ships for UK waters ordered from 2025 should be designed with zero-emission capable technologies, in new plans set out by the British government, aiming to cut pollution from the country’s maritime sector.
The government is also looking at ways to incentivise the transition to zero-emission shipping and will consult on this next year.
The commitment is set out in the Clean Maritime Plan, 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 Port of London Authority – where the maritime minister launched the Plan today – uses hybrid vessels.
Sarah Kenny, chief executive of BMT Group and representing the Mari-UK consortium, said: “The Clean Maritime Plan is an important step towards achieving a zero-emission future for the UK.
“Getting to net zero will not be easy, but it will present significant opportunities as well as the obvious challenges for all parts of our £40bn (US$49bn) maritime sector. Maritime is already the greenest way of moving freight, but we can and must do more to reduce emissions.”
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.
The plan also includes a £1m (US$1.2m) 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.
A further consultation to increase the uptake of low carbon fuels will also take place next year.