All new ships should be zero-emission capable by 2025, says DfT

All new ships for UK waters ordered from 2025 should be designed with zero-emission capable technologies, the Department for Transport (DfT) has said.

The ambition is set out in the Clean Maritime Plan published today (July 11), which lays out in more detail how they plan to encourage a zero-emission shipping industry by 2050.

By 2025 they expect that all vessels operating in UK waters are being designed with zero emission propulsion capability, including the ability to ‘bunker’ or supply ships with low or zero emission fuel.

By 2035 they expect that the UK has built ‘a number’ of clean maritime clusters at ports.

However, unlike other polluting sectors the targets are only ‘aspirational goals’ and not mandatory.

Regulation for shipping has historically been set at the international level with such as the 1997 introduction of the North Sea Emission Control Area (ECA) and the agreement of a global sulphur cap to be implemented by 2020.

Portsmouth

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 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.’

Mark Simmonds, Head of Policy, at the British Ports Association, welcomed the plan. He said: ‘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,’ he said.

‘We believe that approach, in collaboration with government, can be brought to bear to tackle humanity’s greatest challenge. For many, there will be opportunities in tackling these issues.’

The government is also looking at ways to incentivise the transition to zero-emission shipping and will consult on this next year.

They have launched a £1m 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.

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