Australia developing maritime emission reduction plan

The Australian Government has committed to developing a Maritime Emissions Reduction National Action Plan to chart a practical green transition for the maritime sector.

Illustration; Credit: Port of Melbourne

The Maritime Emissions Reduction National Action Plan (MERNAP) will be developed in close consultation with industry in setting Australia’s own strategic direction on a smooth energy transition for its domestic maritime sector.

The government expects that the plan will draw on the competitive advantages and complement other policies, allowing Australian businesses to capitalise on new economic and trade opportunities while creating new jobs and enhancing maritime workforce skillsets.

Additionally, the country is working on helping drive emissions reduction in international shipping. The government has legislated global ship energy efficiency improvement measures to reduce the carbon intensity of ships visiting Australian waters.

Furthermore, Australia joined other governments around the globe in creating green shipping corridors, a specific maritime routes decarbonized from end to end, including both land-side infrastructure and vessels.

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New maritime collaboration project

The Australian Government, together with  the Asia-Pacific Cooperation (APEC) nations, has also launched a joint APEC Green Maritime Collaboration project. The focus of the project is to focus on collaboration among APEC ports and transport agencies to advance ambition on low and zero-emissions maritime operations.

The project was launched at the APEC Transportation Ministerial Meeting in Detroit today.

It will support participating Asia-Pacific countries to embed climate principles in their maritime policies and investments – while ensuring their ports remain competitive.

This builds on the International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopting the ambition of decarbonising shipping by 2050.

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Representatives from the government, maritime, energy, port, shipping and academic sectors will be brought together to provide expert input and assist in developing the plan over the next 12 months.

The final MERNAP will be delivered to the Government for approval in mid-2024.