Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum

For booking-related queries or information on speaking please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk, or contact us: +44 (0)1344 864796.

Next steps for the UK maritime sector - Ports and shipbuilding | Decarbonisation | Maritime 2050 | Revitalising coastal communities | UK National Clean Maritime Research Hub | Impact of AI | Alternative policy priorities

April 2024

Price: £150 PLUS VAT

This conference focused on the way forward for the UK’s maritime and shipping sector.

It followed the Government’s response to the Transport Committee’s report on the progress and next steps for Maritime 2050, including the establishment of the new Maritime Council, the UK National Clean Maritime Research Hub and wider strategies for decarbonising the sector.

The seminar was an opportunity for stakeholders and policymakers to examine key issues for growing and futureproofing the sector, including next steps for UK trade and competitive positioning, boosting innovation and assessing implications of AI on the sector, and moving towards decarbonisation pathways by 2050 in line with the Government’s net zero objectives.

Further sessions assessed priorities for supporting coastal communities and the seafarer workforce, as well as bolstering collaborative structures and developing clarity and coherence in the direction of policy. There was discussion on alternative priorities for the industry, including the opposition’s policy proposals. Delegates also explored the next steps for revitalising ports and the role of Freeports in delivering wider benefits for coastal communities and the wider UK maritime and trade sectors.

We are pleased to have been able to include keynote sessions with: Mike Kane MP, Shadow Minister for Aviation and Maritime; Dr Eamonn Beirne, Deputy Director, UK Shipping Office for Reducing Emissions, Maritime Directorate, Department for Transport; Professor Tony Roskilly, Director, UK National Clean Maritime Research Hub; and Professor Adam Sobey, Programme Director, Data-Centric Engineering, Alan Turing Institute.

Overall, areas for discussion included:

  • maritime strategy: next steps - developing policy clarity - assessing both the Transport Committee’s recommendations and the Government’s response
  • Maritime 2050: the proposals and the Government’s response - outstanding issues for implementation - the roles of the Maritime Council and the UK National Clean Maritime Research Hub
  • decarbonisation: the Clean Maritime Plan - assessing progress and strategic options - addressing challenges - coordination on achieving environmental and economic benefits of decarbonisation
  • port and coastal communities: policy priorities - regeneration - realising the potential of Freeports and decarbonisation in helping to deliver social and economic benefits to coastal communities
  • maritime workforce: addressing downward trends in seafarer numbers - improving perceptions of the industry - protecting welfare - increasing use of new technologies in training
  • trade and competitiveness: growing the ship register - implementing and scaling-up new technology - commercialisation and rollout of smart shipping and autonomous vessels - the impact of global issues such as the Red Sea attacks on UK trade and the maritime sector
  • innovation: R&D priorities - potential of AI for improving sustainability, efficiency, forecasting and mapping - regulatory agility to support responsible innovation, safety and growth
  • sector resilience: securing the supply chain - creating sustainable plans for responses to threats and global events - learning from the sector’s ability to remain strong throughout the pandemic
  • alternative plans for the maritime sector: Labour’s proposal for the UK maritime sector - investment in ports and regional clusters - priorities for clean power and transitioning to renewables

The conference was an opportunity for stakeholders to consider the issues alongside key policy officials who attended from MCA; MMO; CCC; DfT; Defra; DAERA, NI; DBT; DESNZ; Department for the Economy, NI; DLUHC; DSIT; EA; GLD; HMRC; Home Office; OEP; Isle of Man Government; UKIB; and the Welsh Government; as well as parliamentary pass-holders from the House of Commons.

This on-demand pack includes

  • A full video recording of the conference as it took place, with all presentations, Q&A sessions, and remarks from chairs
  • An automated transcript of the conference
  • Copies of the slides used to accompany speaker presentations (subject to permission
  • Access to on-the-day materials, including speaker biographies, attendee lists and the agenda