Emissions goals called 'aspirational', not mandatory
The United Kingdom’s new Clean Maritime Plan calls for all new vessels operating in UK waters should be capable of operating with zero emissions starting in 2025.
The plan also also includes a £1 million 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.
According to the plan, released by Maritime Minister Nusrat Ghani, the zero-emissions shipping ambitions are intended to provide aspirational goals for the sector, not mandatory targets.
“They can only be achieved through collaboration between Government and industry, promoting the zero-emission pathways that maximize the economic opportunities for the UK economy while also minimizing costs for UK shipping,” the report states.
The UK’s maritime sector is substantial. There are 51 major ports in the UK, which together handled just under half a billion tonnes of commercial cargo and over 22 million passengers in 2017. This accounts for around 95% of UK trade, the report states.
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.