The Bid

Our Autumn Spending Review bid is designed to build upon the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition to accelerate the sector’s decarbonisation:

  • Sustain and create high-skilled, well-paid, green jobs: 1.1m jobs are generated by the UK maritime sector, and investment at the CSR will unlock a wave of green jobs to help the sector decarbonise as well as ensuring a just transition from jobs reliant on carbon industries to low and zero carbon.
  • No country has yet completely pulled ahead in the zero-emission maritime race but there are fierce competitors, like Norway, aiming to access emerging clean maritime markets. Since last year’s SR, other countries have moved further ahead.
  • The UK has the skills and manufacturing potential to become a global leader - let’s act fast to secure maximum jobs and economic growth potential.
  • The CMDC demonstrated the capability and appetite to invest of UK industry. The CMDC was oversubscribed, receiving bids for 225% of the available budget for an initial total proposed investment of £70m. We now need to scale this up.
  • Drive economic development in coastal communities: Growth in the UK maritime sector will unlock significant growth in areas that are essential for the Government’s ‘levelling-up’ agenda.
  • Investment in infrastructure will strengthen local economic recovery, building back greener.
  • The bid is centred on plans to replicate the success of the UK’s automotive industry in driving its decarbonisation journey. It therefore replicates in the maritime sector the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles and demonstration competitions, through a government and industry partnership worth £1bn to accelerate the UK’s maritime decarbonisation programme and tackle climate change.

We propose an urgent partnership to build back greener, with industry prepared to co-invest as it has done through the CMDC.

We estimate that UK-SHORE will:

  • Directly create 15,200 jobs and a further 58,400 jobs throughout the supply chain (73,600 total), according to the Centre for Economics and Business Research.
  • Create jobs in all four nations of the United Kingdom, particularly in coastal communities with a tradition of maritime economic activity, including shipbuilding.
  • Relaunch our marine industries by placing the UK at the forefront of the UK design and development of zero emission vessels.
  • Reinvigorate shipbuilding hotspots across all parts of the UK will create new jobs and opportunities, showing the strength of the Union.
  • Set the UK on a course to meet its legal net-zero maritime obligations.
  • Position the UK as the world-leader in maritime decarbonisation and help transform the UK into a scientific superpower, by taking advantage of the fast-growing market for clean maritime technologies and fuels.
  • Build upon the success of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition, by establishing a multi-year funding programme enabling technologies like hydrogen vessels to come to market.
  • Co-fund a UK-wide programme of shore power installations and charge point facilities at ports across the country, driving innovation in UK ports and opening new green corridors with our key trade partners.
  • Unlock carbon savings of up to 100 MtCO2e by 2050 as well as significant associated reductions in air pollutant emissions, generating benefits valued at billions of pounds. Generate additional direct carbon savings of up to 6 MtCO2e by 2050.
  • Maritime decarbonisation is an untapped opportunity. Cutting carbon in maritime is cheaper on a £ per tonne basis compared to other modes, because of lack of direct intervention so far. At the same time, the UK industry has proven its capabilities and appetite to invest in clean maritime technologies.
  • Unlock industry investment in clean maritime technologies, tackling supply and demand side barriers as well as developing infrastructure and consumer confidence.
  • Bring UK-made zero emission vessels to market, building on our technology edge, as the UK is today the second market in Europe for the production of electric vehicles and we have strong competitive advantage in hydrogen and ammonia technologies.
  • Support smart shipping technology developers, enabling digital and autonomous technologies delivering energy efficiency and placing the UK at the forefront of the fourth industrial revolution, driving a science superpower.

Why action is needed now:

  • Maritime decarbonisation is essential to meet the legislative target of net zero emissions by 2050. However:
  • Maritime emissions are significant: the sole UK domestic shipping emits more GHGs than buses and rail combined[1]. Without intervention, domestic shipping emissions will continue to rise[2].
  • Intervention is needed now, as the lifespan of vessels (approx. 30 years) means that fleet renewal must start now to achieve Net Zero by 2050 in maritime.
  • Regulation alone won’t work, because of shipping market barriers to innovation investment[3]. Intervention is needed, building on the results of the CMDC.


  • Transporting freight by water is by far the most carbon efficient logistics mode for moving goods. As an island nation we are dependent on the sea for 95% of the UK’s import and exports of goods.
  • Action is needed now to support the deployment of low emission vessels and infrastructure to maintain the UK’s vital flows of goods whilst meeting an ambitious trajectory for net zero goals.
  • Intervention will demonstrate the UK climate leadership ahead of the COP26 summit, to be hosted in the UK in November.
  • In the past 12 months the regulatory landscape for the maritime sector has become much tighter. Without investment – being made by competitor maritime nations – the UK risks becoming a large consumer of green products and services, rather than marrying its regulatory leadership with industrial growth.

The UK is well placed to respond, drawing on our world class scientific capability and leveraging cross sector innovation to ensure we lead and shape this decarbonisation process.