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UK launches $1.89 mn initiative for zero-emission maritime routes

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LONDON : UK Maritime Minister Lord Davies recently unveiled in Wales the bidding process for the £1.5 million (~$1.89 million) funding aimed at setting up zero-emission shipping routes to and from the United Kingdom.

The aim is to develop cleaner journeys for passengers and freight, create jobs and boost the economy, an official release said.

The fifth round of the Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition (CMDC5) will support feasibility studies focused on accelerating the development of ‘green corridors’.

These studies will map out infrastructure required along the routes to enable vessels to access green fuels and power charging systems, as well as look at further regulations required to push the industry towards decarbonisation.

It aims to achieve the country’s net zero commitments without imposing additional costs to taxpayers by finding ways to adapt the costs of green fuels, to bring down the costs in future.

If successful, it will bring about zero emission shipping routes connecting the UK to the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, and Ireland, creating opportunities for the sector to thrive, both economically and environmentally, the release noted.

“By investing in zero emission routes to and from the UK, we are not only creating a greener sector, but are also laying the groundwork for long-term sustainability, creating jobs and bolstering economic growth,” said Davies.

Since the CMDC funding was first announced during London International Shipping Week last year, the number of partner countries has increased and now includes the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark and Ireland.

This is progressing the United Kingdom’s commitment at COP26, where the country led the Clydebank Declaration for Green Shipping Corridors, a global initiative to develop zero emission shipping routes between ports.

The latest funding comes from the wider £206 million (~$260.64 million) UK Shipping Office for Reducing Emissions (UK SHORE) programme, announced in March 2022.

Ireland and the Netherlands will provide match-funding for organisations in their countries, while Denmark and Norway will provide other contributions through access to information and facilitation of collaboration.

The UK-Ireland competition will open for bids on April 15 this year and the UK-Netherlands competition will open for bids shortly after on June 3. Both countries will provide match funding of £430,000.

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