Shipping: Exhaust Emissions

Department for Transport written question – answered at on 18 March 2019.

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Photo of Andrew Rosindell Andrew Rosindell NATO Parliamentary Assembly UK Delegation, Co Chair, British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to tackle the effect of toxic fumes from shipping.

Photo of Nusrat Ghani Nusrat Ghani Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport), Assistant Whip (HM Treasury)

The Government has been engaging internationally and domestically in order to reduce pollutant emissions from shipping.

For the most part, the international nature of the shipping industry means that regulatory solutions to curb environmental impacts from this sector need to be delivered globally. In this regard, the UK strongly supports the reduction in the sulphur content of marine fuel which will apply to shipping globally from 2020. In UK waters, a strict 0.1 per cent sulphur limit has applied to ships operating in the English Channel and North Sea since 2015; and from 2021 these waters will also be designated as a nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions control area.

The Government highlighted opportunities to reduce emissions from domestic shipping and ports activities, when it published its Clean Air Strategy (CAS) on 14 January this year. Commitments include consulting on options for increasing domestic regulations and extending the current emission control area to other UK waters.

To help drive the uptake of cleaner technologies and greener fuels, I am chairing a new Government-led Clean Maritime Council, which brings together experts from the maritime sector. Along with the CAS and the Clean Maritime Council, the Department is working with stakeholders to develop a Clean Maritime Plan by Spring 2019. This plan will set out a number of domestic policies to reduce emissions from shipping while maximising the potential economic benefit for the UK from global transition to zero emission shipping.

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