The UK, US and 17 other countries have committed to the establishment of green maritime routes between two or more ports by the end of the decade.
By agreeing to the Clydebank Declaration, signatories will work towards setting up at least six green shipping corridors, investing in clean energy infrastructure at ports on major maritime routes.
This will involve deploying zero-emission vessels as well as putting alternative fuel and charging infrastructure in ports.
Participants have also committed to facilitate partnerships, addressing the obstacles to the establishment of the corridors. If needed, countries also agreed to change regulatory frameworks or give out incentives to help the transition.
“The signatories of this declaration assert the need for the formation of an international coalition between ambitious governments, to act together and demonstrate that maritime decarbonisation is possible, while unlocking new business opportunities and socioeconomic benefits for communities across the globe,” read the statement.
The announcement received positive input from the maritime industry.
Dr Tristan Smith, associate professor at University College London’s Energy Institute called the declaration “a key enabler” for the transition, while UK Chamber of Shipping’s environment policy director Anna Ziou said the move was a “important step” towards net zero.
“It is vital that governments support operators and port infrastructure so the ambition of the declaration becomes a reality. The chamber is looking forward to working with the UK Government and other industry stakeholders to turn this ambition into action’.”
The maritime sector is responsible for between 2.5 and 3 per cent of global CO2 emissions and experts worry that , if no action is taken, they could increase to account 17 per cent of total emissions by 2050.
According to the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) greenhouse gas (GHG) study 2020, shipping’s total GHG emissions have gone up from 977 million tonnes in 2012 to 1,076 million tonnes in 2018, a 9.6 per cent increase over the course of six years.
The IMO has also forecast by 2050 that international shipping emissions will represent between 90 and 130 per cent of 2008 emission levels.