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Clean Maritime Plan

Volume 663: debated on Thursday 11 July 2019

I am today announcing the publication of the clean maritime plan, the UK’s route map to clean growth for the maritime sector and pathway to zero-emission shipping. The UK has one of the world’s proudest and most innovative maritime heritages. In January 2019, the Government launched Maritime 2050, a landmark strategy setting out our vision for the future of the British maritime sector. The clean maritime plan is the environment route map of Maritime 2050. It identifies ways to tackle air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions in parallel, while securing clean growth opportunities for the UK. A cleaner shipping industry will help make the air we breathe cleaner and safer, and create a healthy environment for the future.

It builds on the role the UK played as a leading voice in advocating for an ambitious global target to reduce greenhouse gases from shipping. The initial greenhouse strategy agreed by the International Maritime Organisation in 2018, set a target to reduce GHGs from international shipping by at least 50% by 2050 and to phase them out completely as soon as possible in this century. By publishing the clean maritime plan, the UK becomes one of the first countries since the agreement of this initial strategy to publish a national action plan. The plan is also the first cohesive national strategy to reduce domestic shipping emissions, as part of our journey to meeting net zero.

A global transition to clean shipping is taking place, presenting significant opportunities for economic growth. Research undertaken for the Government suggests the global market for maritime emission reduction technologies could reach £11 billion per year by 2050, potentially resulting in economic benefits to the UK of £510 million per year.

To capitalise on this economic opportunity and achieve zero-emission shipping, the clean maritime plan makes the following core commitments:

A call for evidence in 2020 on non-tax incentives to support the transition to zero-emission shipping, as well as a consultation on how the renewable transport fuel obligation could be used to encourage the uptake of low carbon fuels in maritime, and a green finance initiative for maritime, which will be launched at London international shipping week in September.

A working group and study to identify and support potential UK zero-emission shipping clusters.

Government support for clean maritime innovation in the UK.

Funding of £1.3 million to support clean maritime innovation through MarRI-UK; grant support for early stage research projects related to clean maritime; and a clean maritime award to celebrate leaders in the field of emissions reduction.

A maritime emissions regulation advisory service (MERAS), in place by 2020, to provide dedicated support to innovators using zero-emission propulsion technologies.

The plan also contains a number of zero-emission shipping ambitions, outlining the Government’s vision for the future of zero-emission shipping and the milestones that will need to be achieved to reach it.

This plan has been achieved through close co-operation between industry and Government. The Clean Maritime Council, an advisory body of key stakeholders from across the maritime sector, academia and Government, worked alongside Government to develop the strategy, and will continue to work with us to implement the commitments. A full review of the clean maritime plan’s implementation will take place in 2022.