UK pledges to switch to zero-emissions ships by 2025

Last month, the UK announced that it would set a target of reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. It’s the first of the G7 countries to set this goal, which is in line with the EU’s targets, as set out in the Paris Agreement.

According to the European Science Advisory Council (EASAC), the chances of the EU meeting its targets are declining. Because of this, the council has warned that it’s crucial that new technology is developed and implemented to reduce emissions.

For many years, EASAC has been working with scientists to find innovative ways of dealing with this growing issue. In order to do this, there needs to be more investment and commitment from individual member states.

As part of the UK’s targets, earlier this week, the government announced that all new ships that are ordered from 2025 will need to have zero emission technology if they are going to be actively used in British waters.

This is part of the “Clean Maritime Plan” to cut maritime emissions. Ships with zero-emissions technology can be used as an alternative to fossil fuels and normally use batteries or biofuels. Often, they are also equipped with a fossil fuel alternative as a backup.

In the plan, there is research included that suggests that the global market to technology to reduce maritime emissions is growing rapidly, and could be worth as much as £11 billion by 2050.

This British transport department said: “The government is also looking at ways to incentivise the transition to zero-emission shipping and will consult on this next year.”

In addition to this, it said that it was looking for other ways that it can cut maritime emissions. Included in this is a new campaign and a competition worth £1 million in order to find alternatives to fossil fuels and to cut emissions going forward.

The government added that, in order to meet its target by 2050,  it is currently looking at the idea of introducing medium and long-term targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions for the shipping sector and for reduced air pollution caused by air travel.

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