Outlining its commitment in a letter to the Department for Transport (DfT), Portsmouth has listed a range of initiatives, as part of its Air Quality Strategy, it plans to launch subject to funding approval for a capital spend of over £10m and a successful government grant application. Ambitions are for the port to be carbon neutral by 2030, and contribute towards the national clean maritime plan for the UK to have net zero shipping emissions by 2050.
Portsmouth’s strategy to become the UK’s first zero emission port includes ways to tackle emissions both marine and land side, and also support the port’s cruise and ferry customers to improve their sustainability goals.
The most significant initiative is to potentially offer alternative energy source for ships when they visit Portsmouth. Major customer Brittany Ferries has welcomed the first LNG-powered channel ferry, Honfleur, in 2020 followed by a further two new green ships. LNG provides cleaner, greener fuel and can reduce emissions by up to 25%.
In order to understand the impact of the initiatives, the port will work with Solent University to interrogate the data accurately to understand emission levels. To fund this advanced air monitoring technology, the port has made a government application through research body MarRI-UK and has successfully passed stage one of the bid process.
“These proposals are innovative, but we need to take bold action if we’re to meet our goal to be the first zero emission port. We’re serious about this ambition, which is why we want to take a radical step with our monitoring data and be as open and transparent as possible. For our actions to work they need to be credible and we’re happy to be a test bed for any government trial, or supply data that helps to understand what initiatives are having an impact. These proposals do require funding but the benefits would be significant for the city, and also provide an opportunity to share our approach with the wider port industry,” said Mike Sellers, Portsmouth International Port’s director.