The plans of Maritime Minister Nusrat Ghani are included in the Clean Maritime Plan, which was published today, July 11.

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.

According to the report

In 2050, zero emission ships are commonplace globally. The UK has taken a proactive role in driving the transition to zero emission shipping in UK waters and is seen globally as a role model in this field, moving faster than other countries and faster than international standards.

Moreover, according the the press release, the plan includes a £1 million competition to find innovative ways in reducing shipping emissions.

Maritime Minister Nusrat Ghani commented

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.

Except the UK's Maritime Plan, the British maritime sector has already taken steps to reduce its emissions, as hybrid ferries are operating 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.

In light of a greener shipping future, the UK expects that by 2025:

  1. All vessels operating in UK waters are maximising the use of energy efficiency options. All new vessels being ordered for use in UK waters are being designed with zero emission propulsion capability. Zero emission commercial vessels are in operation in UK waters.
  2. The UK is building clean maritime clusters focused on innovation and infrastructure associated with zero emission propulsion technologies, including bunkering of low or zero emission fuel.

In addition, by 2035 they expect that

  1. The UK has built a number of clean maritime clusters. These combine infrastructure and innovation for the use of zero emission propulsion technologies. Low or zero emission marine fuel bunkering options are readily available across the UK.
  2. The UK Ship Register is known as a global leader in clean shipping and the UK is home to a world-leading zero emissions maritime sector, with:
    #1 a strong UK export industry
    #2 cutting-edge research and development activities
    #3 the global centre for investment, insurance and legal services related to clean maritime growth.

Sarah Kenny, Chief Executive of BMT Group and representing the Mari-UK consortium added

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 maritime sector. Maritime is already the greenest way of moving freight, but we can and must do more to reduce emissions.

She continued that it's the first time that companies and universities from across the country are collaborating through MarRI-UK, accelerating the UK’s maritime technological capabilities, particularly on decarbonisation.

Concerning regulations, the Government will establish the Maritime Emissions Regulation Advisory Service (MERAS) by 2020. Supported by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, MERAS will provide dedicated support to innovators using zero emission propulsion technologies, assisting them through the regulatory process.

Guidance has already been sent to British ports, informing the in developing air quality strategies.

Thus, Tim Morris, chief executive of the UK Major Ports Group and member of the Clean Maritime Council, stated

The Clean Maritime Plan is a really valuable piece of work, setting out an ambitious path forward for the transformation of the maritime sector in the UK. It doesn’t shy away from the scale or complexity of the challenge of such a transformation. But it’s a transformation that the ports industry, along with the rest of the maritime sector and working in partnership with Government and other stakeholders, is determined to take on.

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.

Meanwhile supporting the Clean Maritime Plan, Mark Simmonds, Head of Policy, at the British Ports Association, commented

The British Ports Association is ready to work closely with Government on these challenges. 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.

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