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  • 2023 March 24 16:34

    Channel Ports and DFDS join forces to decarbonise cross-Channel transport

    The Channel ports and ferry operator DFDS signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to collaborate on decarbonising maritime traffic on the Dover Straits, according to the company's release.

    Routes between Dover and France provide 59 percent of all ferry journeys between the UK and the European Union and carry 33 percent of the UK’s trade in goods with the bloc. Recognising the vital importance of the route, the recent Anglo-French summit agreed accelerated joint effort to support the establishment of green shipping corridors between the two nations. The largest cross-Channel ferry operator on the route, DFDS, together with the Port of Dover, Port Boulogne Calais, and Dunkerque-Port has grasped this momentum to agree a joint programme of work that will enable the electrification of maritime traffic on the Channel.

    This continues the momentum established by the work of the Green Corridor Short Straits consortium to investigate steps to decarbonise the cross-Channel ferry fleet, part-funded by the UK Department for Transport’s Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition. The project is a collaboration between the Port of Dover, cross-Channel ferry operators, the University of Kent, and other key academic and industry stakeholders. In parallel to work on its energy strategy, the Port of Dover has also launched industry-leading commitments to be Carbon Net Zero for Scope 1 and 2 by 2025 and Scope 3 by 2030.

    The initiative will mean that carbon neutral cross-Channel shipping, with zero emission battery-powered electric ferries and charging facilities at the ports, could be a reality by 2030. This would deliver a major boost to achieving the objective of decarbonizing the global maritime sector.

    Dunkerque-Port has established a decarbonisation roadmap outlining its commitments to decarbonise and obtained ECOPORT certification for its best practice sustainable development work. Port Boulogne-Calais is reducing carbon emissions through its environmental planning commitments, including ISO 14 001 certification and it is targeting ISO 50 001 certification for its energy management systems in 2023.

    DFDS is leading change in the maritime and logistics transport sector with a two-step Climate Action Plan. It has a short-term target to reduce relative CO2 emissions from ships by 45 percent by 2030, and a long-term target to become fully climate neutral by 2050.

    Its commitment to greener transport solutions extends to its logistics activities. It recently put 20 electric trucks on the road, following its record-breaking order of the vehicles, announced in October 2021.

    DFDS runs six ships on its routes between Dover and France – three on the Dover to Calais service, and three on the Dover to Dunkirk service – with approximately 17,000 crossings made on the routes every year.

    France and the UK are signatories to the Clydebank Declaration for Green Shopping Corridors, showing intent to facilitate the establishment of green shipping corridors. The French government has also initiative the France Mer 2030 approach to decarbonise shipping and the UK government has a Clean Maritime Plan.

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