Charting course towards zero maritime emissions for Australia

The Australian Government has committed to developing a Maritime Emissions Reduction National Action Plan to chart a practical green transition for our maritime sector, while also working with other nations on low and zero emissions maritime operations.

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.

We expect the plan will draw on our nation’s 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.

We are also committed to 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.

Through the Asia-Pacific Cooperation (APEC) nations, we will focus on collaboration among APEC ports and transport agencies to advance ambition on low and zero-emissions maritime operations.

The APEC Transportation Ministerial Meeting in Detroit today launched the APEC Green Maritime Collaboration project.

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 adopting an ambition of decarbonising shipping by 2050 this year.

To demonstrate the feasibility of low emission shipping, our Government is spearheading the development of a green and digital shipping corridor under the Singapore Green Economy Agreement, while also working with the United States, Japan and India in the Quad Shipping Taskforce to establish green shipping corridors in the Indo-Pacific by 2030.

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 Government will develop a paper for public consultation and engage with state and territory governments on the plan in the second half of 2023.

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

For more information on the MERNAP, visit