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To drive the country closer to its goal of emission-free shipping, the United Kingdom is increasing funding for the development of new shipping technologies. A few months ago, Nusrat Ghani, the UK Maritime Minister announced the release of a further GBP 1 million for new projects via MarRI-UK, an association of maritime organisations.

MarRI-UK already designated £1 million for projects working on early-stage clean energy for the maritime industry. Now, the government is providing the consortium with a further £1 million so that it can continue funding the development of new and innovative technologies.

Minister Nusrat Ghani was quoted as saying, “The UK continues to lead the way on the global stage, playing a key role in reaching an international agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from shipping by at least 50% in 2050.”

Furthermore, the government announced plans to attract promising entrepreneurs and financiers to the sector. The external investment will go a long way in bolstering government efforts, and the expectation is that this move will contribute to further innovation in the shipping industry.

To this end, the Green Finance for Maritime conference that is billed to take place in Summer 2020 is seen as a great avenue to bring together stakeholders from the technology and financial services sector with government representatives. The conference should facilitate the building of relationships and brokering of new deals between stakeholders, further establishing the UK as the global hub for the development of green finance and moving the country closer to its zero-emission goal.

The Vice-chair of Maritime UK, Sarah Kenny, further underscored the importance of the work being done by the consortium. Kenny praised MarRI-UK as the first association in the shipping industry that sought to bring expertise together from different parts of the sector. She went on to say that “We (Maritime UK) back decarbonization by 2050, and by working collaboratively with government, we will achieve this.”

“Already across Britain we’re seeing promising progress: from hybrid ferries to hydrogen fuel, the sector is tackling the challenge head-on,” she concluded.

The projects mentioned above include the hybrid ferries currently in use along Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight, as well as in Scotland. Similarly, shore-side electricity at the Portsmouth, Brodick, and Fraserburgh ports are driving down emissions from running engines. There’s another project in Orkney that’s exploring how hydrogen can be injected directly in the fuel supply of ferries, thereby reducing the emission of CO2.

The United Kingdom has been proactive in combatting emissions and is regarded globally as a leading light in the pursuit of zero-emission shipping. The increase in funding is another move in the right direction.