The global shipping industry has been called to set a new, more ambitious net-carbon goal, with the UK’s Transport Secretary Grant Shapps proposing a 2050 deadline for reaching absolute zero. The call came just before the London International Shipping Week, which opened its doors yesterday (13 September) and which the UK Government has heralded as the ‘greenest’ iteration yet.
“As a maritime nation with a rich history, and host of COP26 this year, we are proud to be at the forefront of the greener era for maritime, charting an international course for the future of clean shipping,” Shapps said.
As part of his proposal, Shapps has suggested the net-zero goal be debated in November at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO’s) Marine Environment Protection Committee.
“I’m incredibly excited by the changes happening in this sector, with the speed of progress highlighted by the prospect of zero emission commercial vessels in UK waters in the next few years and green Channel crossings within a decade,” he added. “Taking action now allows us to lead the charge on this global shift, creating highly skilled jobs for British workers and shaping the landscape for what clean shipping and trade will look like for future generations.”
The shipping industry currently accounts for 3% of global emissions, and the UK has made it clear that it intends to be leading the charge when it comes to cleaning up our waters. Plans for the country to deploy zero-emission vessels by 2025 looks to pave the way for a greener sector, and comes as part of the government’s decision to include maritime and aviation in its Sixth Carbon Budget, seeking to reduce emissions by 78% by 2035.
“The UK is the natural home for maritime business and will play a pivotal role in helping this most global of sectors to decarbonise. There are already fantastic technologies being developed and deployed here, and the industry is determined that these accelerate in close partnership with the government,” Maritime UK chair Sarah Kenny said. “The UK will rise to the challenge and, in doing so, create tens of thousands of green jobs in coastal communities across the UK.”