Transport Secretary opens first Maritime Council to support jobs and reduce emissions

The council will provide expertise and top-level oversight for the Maritime 2050 strategy, to help achieve its 185 recommendations

  • Transport Secretary launches first meeting of the new Maritime Council to tackle major issues from sustainability to seafarer welfare
  • council will provide expertise and top-level oversight for the Maritime 2050 strategy, helping deliver its 185 recommendations
  • membership of the council made up of key figures from across the industry

The first meeting of the Maritime Council brought together figures from across the sector today (21 June 2023) to discuss the delivery of government’s Maritime 2050 strategy, creating new jobs, boosting trade links and minimising emissions.

The Maritime Council has been established in this pivotal period as the maritime sector prepares itself for a net zero future. The council will drive delivery of the recommendations set out in the Maritime 2050 strategy and focus government and industry’s shared priorities as it aims to grow a sector that is vital to the flow of goods and services in and out of the country, boosting UK economic growth while tackling carbon emissions.

During his opening address to the council, Transport Secretary Mark Harper said:

"As an island nation, maritime has always underpinned our national connectivity and prosperity, so it’s vital we secure the long-term future of this sector and deliver on the Maritime 2050’s recommendations to make the UK maritime sector the strongest and most competitive in the world.

"Not only will this help deliver the Prime Minister’s immediate priority of growing the economy, it’ll also deliver on our environmental ambitions by decarbonising its operations – arguably maritime’s biggest transformation since sail gave way to steam."

The first meeting was chaired by Transport Secretary Mark Harper, with subsequent meetings to be chaired by Maritime Minister Baroness Vere.

Developed by the government and industry, Maritime 2050 sets out 185 recommendations across 7 different themes, to ensure that the UK maritime sector continues to lead from the front.

Maritime Minister Baroness Vere said:

"It’s not just for government to set out a plan, it has to be something that all parties can make a reality.

"Collaboration with the industry will help deliver our shared Maritime 2050 vision, revolutionising the UK’s relationship with other countries, to grow and upskill the maritime workforce and advance our world class safety standards."

Among these ambitions, the newly founded council will look at how to deliver clean maritime growth, and how economic and environmental benefits can converge to bring forward a futureproof maritime sector.

Alongside this, it will support the commercial investment into our maritime infrastructure, work to put the UK at the centre of global safety and security standards, promote a more diverse maritime workforce and unlock the potential of new technologies in the sector.

To help accelerate progress to meet the recommendations, the council will have the power to set up specific groups tasked with working to ensure that the UK is delivering on its ambitions and cementing our status as a world leader in the maritime sector.

The council will also oversee publication of a joint government and industry annual report on the delivery progress of Maritime 2050.

Department for Transport
The Rt Hon Mark Harper MP
Baroness Vere of Norbiton