Theresa May, the embattled departing British prime minister, ensured today her legacy will not solely be remembered by her failure to handle the country’s exit from the European Union.
The UK government today put into law a net zero carbon target for 2050, becoming the first country in the world to make such an ambitious comittment.
However, the detailed plan to move the country to net zero carbon makes allowances for both aviation and shipping. The government stated that further analysis and international dialogue is needed for both industries. The May administration stated that “for now” the government will give “headroom” for international aviation and shipping, leaving the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to champion decarbonisation for the sector at “the appropriate pace”.
“We have made huge progress in growing our economy and the jobs market while slashing emissions,” May said today. “Now is the time to go further and faster to safeguard the environment for our children. We must lead the world to a cleaner, greener form of growth.”
Britain has been pushing ahead with plans to make the country a leader in maritime decarbonisation.
Minister for maritime Nusrat Ghani leads the Clean Maritime Council, launched last year to devise a strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the sector to improve air quality on and around the country’s waterways, ports and shipping lanes.
Air pollution is the fourth greatest threat to UK public health after cancer, heart disease and obesity. In 2016, domestic shipping accounted for 11% of the country’s nitrogen oxide emissions.