Decarbonising Ports & Harbours: Industry Insights & Vision report

Posted on: 29/03/2023

This report is a collection of knowledge and insights shared by the Maritime & Ports Innovation Network and curated by our experts in the maritime transport and clean energy systems sector.

Report outline

The overarching objective of the Maritime & Ports Innovation Network was to raise the profile of the critical part that ports and harbours need to play in Maritime transport’s transition to net zero by 2050 and accelerate this transition by giving a clear direction.

This report is a summation of knowledge and insights shared by our network and curated by our experts in the maritime transport and clean energy systems sector. Its purpose is to provide focus and early planning for longer term R&D and innovation investment.

We adopted a Mission Led Approach considering the means to address this grand challenge by exploring the drivers; innovation pathways; stakeholders and systems that would be required to come together to create a route to successfully meet the challenge.

Our definition of the Decarbonising Ports and Harbour’s Challenge includes the following three principle aims:

  1. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from port operations including port owned working boats and equipment.
  2. Providing infrastructure services to make clean energy available to visiting transport (road freight, rail & vessels).
  3. Improving localised air quality by reducing emissions of gases associated with the burning of fossil fuels.

This report contains the shared learning and provides insights into subjects related to policy development, energy sources, technological solutions, stakeholders and the all important means to fund and finance the transition.

Our journey through this subject has shown that there is a lot of goodwill and eagerness to progress, but this is marred by a lack of validated understanding and access to investment.

Why did we carry out this review?

Some of the most critical sustainability issues of our time are climate change and air quality. With a target of Net Zero emissions by 2050 established within the UK’s Maritime 2050 Strategy and Clean Maritime Plan, the UK has key objectives to fulfil across the entire maritime landscape in a relatively short timeframe.

The Decarbonising Ports & Harbours Innovation Network was established to showcase the essential role that ports and harbours play in achieving Net Zero 2050, with a focus on fast-tracking progress toward clearly targeted and deliverable solutions. This diverse effort examines catalysing cross-sector collaboration as well as public and private industries.

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Related programme

Maritime & Ports Innovation Network

Maritime & Ports Innovation Network

Following the success of the Decarbonising Ports & Harbours Innovation Network held from 2020 to 2022, we have decided to extend the programme for an additional year. We reaffirm our commitment to decarbonising our industries including maritime.


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