Leading UK ports group announces multi-billion pund plan to slash carbon emissions and support booming offshore renewables industry
Associated British Ports (ABP) has today launched a far-reaching new sustainability strategy, backed by a plan to invest around £2bn in a wave of major green infrastructure projects that can support the UK's clean energy transition and deliver net zero emissions from its ports by 2040.
Titled Ready for Tomorrow , the new strategy promises action to meet ambitious targets across five focus areas: net zero, air quality, biodiversity, waste, and water management.
It also commits the firm to developing its offshore wind manufacturing support hubs in the Humber and East Anglia, accelerating the development of green infrastructure projects in South Wales and the Solent focused on hydrogen, carbon capture and storage, industrial decarbonisation, and alternative fuels, and more than doubling its own green power generation.
According to its latest figures, 17 of ABP's 21 ports currently have renewable energy generation projects on site, with £55m invested to date in a series of projects that have delivered a 38 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions between 2014 and 2021.
However, the new strategy will now see the company ramp up investment in a fresh wave of projects that aim to significantly increase its renewables capacity.
Henrik Pedersen, chief executive at ABP, said climate change presented an "era-defining challenge", but also presented an opportunity to develop innovative new industries and leave an "optimistic legacy" for generations to come.
"We are committed to working together with industry partners and authorities to turn this generational crisis into a generational opportunity: to create a decarbonised, dramatically more sustainable future and deliver the significant investment, economic growth and thousands of new, good jobs that should come with it," he said.
The new investment plancould have a significant impact on the UK's emissions, given ABP operates 21 ports and other transport related businesses, contributes an estimated £7.5bn to the UK economy every year, supports over 119,000 jobsm and handles around 90 million tonnes of cargo each year.
As such, the plans were welcomed by Maritime Minister Baroness Vere who predicted it would provide a major boost to both the UK's green maritime sector and its offshore renewables industry.
"The UK is a pioneer in cutting-edge clean maritime solutions, with hundreds of millions of pounds of government funding being invested in developing greener, cleaner vessels and infrastructure," she said. "However, it's vital that industry also invests in our future, and I'm therefore very pleased to see Associated British Ports doing just that, ensuring we're Ready for Tomorrow and injecting billions into decarbonising our maritime sector."
Nick Molho, executive director of sustainable business organisation the Aldersgate Group, similarly described the launch of ABP's strategy as an important moment in the UK economy's transition to net zero emissions.
"Decarbonising ports is not only important in itself, but it is also essential to support the decarbonisation of other key parts of the economy such as energy generation, shipping and heavy industries like steel," he said. "By taking proactive steps to cut emissions in a part of the economy that is complex to decarbonise, ABP is demonstrating true leadership and showing that that the business community is ready to lead the UK economy to net zero. The government must respond by showing equivalent leadership in the coming months through strengthening the UK's net zero strategy."
* This article was originally published here