UK shipping industry calls for net-zero by 2050

In a landmark decision, the UK shipping industry has agreed that the international shipping sector should pursue a net-zero carbon emissions target by 2050.

International regulations require the global shipping industry to cut their emissions by 50% compared to 2008 levels but the UK Chamber of Shipping has now confirmed it wants the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to double this target and commit to net-zero emissions by 2050.

The shipping industry currently contributes around 2.4% of global greenhouse gases each year whilst moving about 90% of world trade and 95% of UK goods.

Welcoming the call for net-zero emissions from the UK Chamber of Shipping, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “The UK is taking a leadership position in decarbonising all forms of transport, including Maritime, where we have led the world globally for many hundreds of years.

“To build back both better and greener, we must work side by side with the industry and I warmly welcome the UK Chamber of Shipping’s decisive push in driving forward the transition to net-zero international shipping and trade by 2050.”

UK Chamber of Shipping President John Denholm (pictured) said: “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.

“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 UK Government recently published its Sixth Carbon Budget which included shipping for the first time and the recent Transport Decarbonisation Plan called for shipping to reach net-zero by 2050.

However, this has not been agreed at an international level and the UK Chamber of Shipping is now calling on the IMO to take drastic action and commit to a net-zero target.