Green Ship

Climate change is the greatest threat posed to our society and  the shipping industry is determined to play its part and support the urgent action necessary to reduce emissions. 

International Targets 

Shipping is the most efficient form of commercial transport, cleaner than road, rail or plane. However, international targets that are in place to cut emissions from shipping by 50% compared to 2008 levels by 2050 do not go far enough. 


Source: International Chamber of Shipping (based on IMO GHG Study 2009)

With the International Maritime Organization (IMO) due to revise its targets next year we will be working with partners to show why it is imperative that the IMO commits to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. We are also continuing to urge the UK Government to be using its diplomatic weight to convince other countries to back more ambitious targets. 


Shore power, where ships in port have access to power from grid systems on shore, is a key element of decarbonising shipping. It will help ensure that ships engines do not need to be used in ports to power essential ship functions. 

However, four out of five UK Chamber members cite a lack of port infrastructure as the biggest barrier to investment in shore power. Currently the UK only has two ports with shore power facilities - one in Orkney and one in Southampton. We need to see more brought online. 

The government has shown it is prepared to back new solutions for the net zero transition and ships are already making progress towards reducing emissions. We now need to see action to back deployment of green solutions like shore power, which are already tried, tested and trusted.

This deployment can be funded through the creation of a new fund from government investment and penalties generated from ports and ships that fail to either provide or make use of shore power facilities where they are available.

You can read more about our shore power position here

Schemes to reduce emissions 

We all need to play our part in combatting climate change and the introduction of measures by the IMO to help drive the economic incentive to reduce emissions is essential. These are often referred to as market based measures and international regulations are the best way to create real, lasting change across the sector. 

There are many different measures that could be put in place and reaching agreement will require detailed discussions but a minimum emissions standard for fuels is one viable option. We also have a number of key principles that will be crucial to the success of any international scheme. 

Any scheme must:

  • be able to be implemented quickly recognising the need for swift action.
  • provide a meaningful incentive to invest in zero emission energy sources.
  • be easy to administer, not open to abuse and provides a level playing field.
  • ensure that any funds generated are returned to the industry to support further research and development and infrastructure deployment.

Various regional measures have been proposed that seek to include international shipping. We are concerned that these schemes could create an incentive to transfer emissions to other regions rather than reduce them. We need to seek to avoid having different regulations in different jurisdictions and use the IMO to ensure an effective and equitable transition.