News: UK maritime sector commits to decarbonisation by 2050

Sky News have today published an open letter from Maritime UK making clear the industry's support for decarbonisation by 2050. 

The letter reads:

We only have one world, and it is the responsibility of all of us to safeguard it for future generations to live fulfilling, healthy and happy lives. The maritime sector can make a special contribution by developing a sustainable Blue Economy which protects our marine and coastal environments whilst delivering economic and societal benefits.

The global ocean economy will be worth $3trillion by 2030. While this presents enormous growth opportunities for communities, industry and governments across the world, it also calls for the greatest environmental care and sensitivity.   

For we must learn the lessons from the economic exploitation of other environments and ensure that the development of the ocean economy does not harm this most precious of domains.

A strong, sustainable and carefully managed Blue Economy will deliver prosperity for all peoples, in particular island and coastal states most at risk from the effects of climate change.

We believe that we can deliver a sustainable Blue Economy with the combined aims of economic growth, societal development and the environmental protection of our marine and coastal environments. Already, maritime transport is one of the most sustainable ways of moving goods from place to place, being much more efficient than both trucks and aircraft. Setting and delivering ambitious sustainability targets will stimulate new markets, products and services required to achieve our environmental goals.

The UK maritime sector is committed to tackling the impact on our oceans of climate change, pollution and other harmful activities.

And we are committed to delivering sustainable economic value to the communities we serve and helping to transform society for the better.

We, the undersigned leaders of the maritime sector, therefore commend the government’s leadership in cutting greenhouse gas emissions and commit ourselves to supporting decarbonisation by 2050.

To realise that target, industry will need to invest, and we call upon government to do the same, most particularly in support of new and viable decarbonisation technologies and the critical infrastructure to support their implementation. Industry and government have established the UK’s national centre for maritime innovation; Maritime Research and Innovation UK. We now call on government to deliver substantial investment to support its work, just as it has for aviation and automotive. Equally, there needs to be investment in greening our maritime infrastructure.

Finally, we ask government to enact enabling rules and regulations which will accelerate the achievement of our goals.

Working together, government and industry will deliver decarbonisation. We cannot afford to fail. 

Harry Theochari

Chair, Maritime UK


Maritime UK members: British Marine, British Ports Association, Cruise Lines International Association UK & Ireland, The Baltic Exchange, Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers, Trinity House, Maritime London, Mersey Maritime, Nautilus International, Seafarers UK, Society of Maritime Industries, Solent LEP, UK Chamber of Shipping and UK Major Ports Group.


First wave of company signatories:

  • A&P Group
  • BMT
  • Carnival UK
  • Clearview Marine
  • ecoSUB Robotics
  • Kelvin Hughes
  • Planet Ocean
  • PSM Instrumentation

Companies wishing to add their names should contact Maritime UK.