News: Maritime sector responds to inclusion of shipping emissions in UK climate targets

Following news that the UK government’s sixth Carbon Budget will incorporate the UK’s share of international aviation and shipping emissions for the first time, Maritime UK Chief Executive, Ben Murray, said:

“The UK’s maritime sector is committed to decarbonisation and is excited about the opportunities the transition is creating. We recognise the government’s intention to include international shipping emissions within UK net-zero targets and reiterate the need to work in partnership with industry to get this right, both in terms of administration and creating an enabling environment.

“Such significant commitment to combatting climate change will demand robust action from government to help industry develop the solutions necessary, and to support the deployment of low emission vessels and infrastructure to meet ambitious trajectories for net zero goals.

“Regulation alone is not going to be sufficient: building on the automotive experience, capital investment in maritime decarbonisation is needed to unlock the potential of industry and to kick-start the whole scale transition to zero emission maritime. This includes investment for green infrastructure, funding for R&D and incentive support for owners and operators to manage the transition to low emission vessels and alternative fuels.

“The renewed commitment to combatting climate change provides opportunity for the UK to position itself as a world-leader in developing green solutions and alternatives for the global maritime sector, and to show thought leadership through extensive funding for innovation and development of new technology. With the Prime Minister having declared his ambition for the UK to become a green shipping superpower, and with clean maritime given a prominent role in the Government's Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, significant investment into maritime decarbonisation would be a clear statement of intent ahead of COP26 in Glasgow in November.

“Failure to match regulation with support will mean that the UK misses out on the opportunity to become a world leader in a greener, cleaner future for maritime, as well as missing the chance to create tens of thousands of green collar jobs, particularly in coastal towns and cities. 

“The government has an opportunity to flesh out its plans and provide important detail on how it will support transition in the Transport Decarbonisation Plan and National Shipbuilding Strategy, both due in the coming weeks and months.”