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British Marine looks at the detail in the Government's Clean Air Strategy

Published on: 07 February 2019

Clean Air Strategy

The Government has launched its Clean Air Strategy which aims to tackle the UK’s pollution issues, thus making air healthier to breathe, protecting nature and boosting the UK economy. The Government claims this strategy sets out ambitious plans to assess the causes of poor air quality and targets for reduction, transport (including marine) is a key target.

There are a host of measures proposed within the strategy, some fully elaborated upon and others in the very early stages. Those of most interest to British Marine members and which British Marine will be engaging the membership on are:

  • A call for evidence to gather information on vessels operating domestically (including recreational vessels) in the UK, including in inland waterways (only in England, as inland waterways are a devolved responsibility for the Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish executives) and UK coastal waters (maritime activity in UK territorial waters is a reserved responsibility of the UK Government)
  • A consultation on options for extending the existing Emissions Control Area (ECA) in the North Sea to the remainder of the UK’s territorial waters (to be published in Spring 2019)
  • A commitment from the Department for Transport (DfT) to publish guidance for ports by Spring 2019, in order to facilitate their development of individual air quality strategies

The strategy also refers to work already underway by the Clean Maritime Council, which is made up by figures from within the UK maritime industry. Unfortunately, this does not include any representation from the UK’s leisure marine sector and British Marine has raised this important omission with DfT officials and with Maritime UK, the single promotional body for the maritime industry. British Marine hopes to see improved engagement from the Government soon.

However, despite this Government oversight, British Marine has been fully representing the industry during the important initial discussions on what existing regulations are currently in force and will continue to engage with regulators during discussions on how the marine sector can first be analysed and assessed, before any practical remedies are proposed.

British Marine members wanting to learn more can download and read the strategy documents on the GOV.UK website. British Marine members may also contact Ross Wombwell, Head of Technical Services at rwombwell@britishmarine.co.uk.

British Marine is engaged with DfT officials and the inland navigation authorities to consider the key challenges and risks. There will be plenty of opportunities for members to get involved with this work, further details will be in further issues of Latest News.