News: Climate Change Committee publishes Sixth Carbon Budget

On 9 December the Climate Change Committee (CCC) published its Sixth Carbon Budget

The CCC, in its document setting out proposed policies for the UK’s path to Net Zero (‘Policies for the Sixth Carbon Budget and Net Zero’), states that on maritime, the UK should:

  • Formally include International Shipping emissions within UK climate targets when setting the Sixth Carbon Budget.
  • Continue working with the IMO on global shipping policies, research funding, tighter efficiency targets, and strengthening the IMO 2050 global target.
  • Build on the Clean Maritime Plan to set a Net Zero 2050 goal for UK shipping, and develop incentives for zero-carbon ammonia and hydrogen supply chains.
  • Commit to the UK’s first clean maritime cluster(s) operating at commercial scale (supplying at least 2 TWh/year of zero-carbon fuels) by 2030 at the latest, with zero-carbon fuels expanding to 33% of UK shipping fuel use by 2035.
  • Provide support for ports’ investment in shore power and electric recharging infrastructure.
  • Continue innovation and demonstration support for zero-carbon fuel technologies and their use in shipping, and ship efficiency measures.
  • Monitor non-CO2 effects of shipping and consider how best to tackle them alongside UK climate targets.

Further details on these recommendations are found in Chapter 8: Aviation and Shipping (p.160 and onwards), in which it is stated that:

‘The main policy challenges in aviation and shipping are the international nature of these sectors requiring fuel infrastructure coordination, long asset lifetimes and economic competitiveness concerns. (…) Shipping policy in the UK has had much less funding to date,  but starting from the Clean Maritime Plan is now progressing to feasibility studies for zero-carbon maritime clusters. Policy incentives still need developed to enable production and use of zero-carbon fuels in shipping.’ (p. 162)

It is recommended that government (p.173):

  • Develop incentives for zero-carbon ammonia and hydrogen supply chains for UK shipping
  • Commit to delivery of a phased roll-out of clean maritime clusters
  • Accelerate marine RD&D funding, including for ship efficiency measures, alternative propulsion testing, high efficiency cracking of ammonia to hydrogen, electro-chemical synthesis of ammonia, and mitigating ammonia combustion air quality concerns. Conduct further research on the decarbonisation options available to naval shipping.
  • Provide financial support (e.g. capital support or loan guarantees) for ports looking to invest in shore power and electric vessel charging infrastructure.
  • Monitor non-CO2 effects of shipping and consider how to best tackle them alongside UK climate targets without increasing CO2 emissions.

In ‘The Sixth Carbon Budget – The UK’s path to Net Zero’, the CCC sets out pathways for how UK domestic shipping and the UK’s share of international shipping can be reduced in Chapter 3.8: Shipping (p.180). Scenarios for shipping emissions are explored in three parts.