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Maritime Industry: Decarbonisation

Volume 685: debated on Thursday 3 December 2020

The Government have recently committed £20 million to support clean maritime technology, and further plans will be set out in the forthcoming transport decarbonisation plan.

The inclusion of clean maritime in the 10-point plan and the announcement of the £20 million demonstration project are extremely welcome. Can the Minister confirm that he is working with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to produce a comprehensive strategy for investment in new green port infrastructure so that ports such as Lowestoft can make the most of the exciting opportunities emerging in renewable energy and sustainable fishing?

My hon. Friend is absolutely right: there can be no clean maritime without clean ports. He is absolutely right to raise the opportunities that exist for our ports, and I thank him for his tireless, passionate advocacy for Lowestoft. I can confirm that my Department, DEFRA and BEIS meet regularly to ensure that our work is aligned and, in particular, that our work on renewable energy and maritime decarbonisation is complementary in approach, because providing the former is a big part of providing the latter.

My beautiful coastal constituency of Eastbourne and Willingdon is susceptible to particulate matter emanating from the very busy channel shipping lanes. The maritime strategy and the Prime Minister’s 10-point plan are hugely important domestic policies, but this problem obviously demands an international response and international change. Will my hon. Friend assure the House that the Government are equally committed to working at the international level to see the improvements we need in air quality in my home town?

I am glad to confirm that the Government are committed to international efforts to reduce pollution from ships, including through the London-based International Maritime Organisation. I am pleased to be able to inform my hon. Friend that from 1 January 2021, the channel and North sea, including the East Sussex coast, will be designated a nitrogen oxide emissions control area under international law. I thank her for her continued outstanding advocacy for clean air in her constituency and across the UK.