As what is billed as ”the greenest London International Shipping Week yet,” kicks off, U.K. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced that the U.K. backs an absolute zero target for international shipping emissions by 2050.
“As a maritime nation with a rich history, and host of COP26 this year, we are proud to be at the forefront of the greener era for maritime, charting an international course for the future of clean shipping,” said Shapps. “I’m incredibly excited by the changes happening in this sector, with the speed of progress highlighted by the prospect of zero emission commercial vessels in U.K/ waters in the next few years and green Channel crossings within a decade.”
The target would have to be agreed through the International Maritime Organization and today’s announcement effectively aligns the U.K. with the U.S. and Denmark, which have already announced that they will push for a “zero by 2050” goal at IMO.
The U.K. Chamber of Shipping is also on board with the zero by 2050 goal, which is twice as ambitious as the current IMO goal.
“At the U.K. Chamber of Shipping we want to be at the forefront of the green agenda and now is the time to call for radical action,” said the chamber’s chief executive, Bob Sanguinetti. “The aim of cutting shipping’s emissions by 50% just doesn’t go far enough. We need to show the world we mean business and it is imperative that the IMO commits to a net-zero carbon emissions target by 2050.”
“We can’t kick the can down the road anymore. We need real action at international level, and we will work with our partners within the IMO to pursue the target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.”
“Climate change is the greatest threat to mankind, and it is imperative all of us involved in the shipping industry continue to do all we can to cut emissions,” said the chamber’s president, John Denholm, “That is why we are now calling on the IMO to set a net-zero target for 2050. The world needs to know the shipping sector takes its responsibilities seriously and by setting the goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, people would be in no doubt about the green credentials of the shipping sector.”
The U.K. Government recently published its Sixth Carbon Budget which included shipping for the first time and the recent Transport Decarbonization Plan called for shipping to reach net-zero by 2050.
However, this has not been agreed at an international level and the U.K. Chamber of Shipping is now calling on the IMO to take drastic action and commit to a net-zero target.