France launches decarbonization strategy to slash maritime sector's carbon footprint


France has unveiled a plan aimed at reducing the carbon footprint of the shipping industry over the next seven years. Boosted by funding of 300 million euros, the industry is looking towards a greener future with the objective of building a zero emission vessel.

The French secretary of state in charge of maritime affairs, Hervé Berville, announced the "France-Mer 2030" plan during a conference in Lille on Tuesday.

Under the France-Mer 2030, a "one-stop shop" will be offered for the state to reduce its carbon footprint in the maritime transport sector, primarily in greenhouse gas emissions such as carbon dioxide.

The plan will also promote innovation with "the zero-emission ship as the horizon," Berville said.

Berville pointed out that only 12% of the ships used in France today are built in the country, compared to 80% in 1980. Nonetheless, he outlined the critical nature to develop the framework to support decarbonization saying he wants zero-emission shipping for France “from its keel to its fuel cell.”

Berville set out the government’s ambition to secure €300 million in public investment by the end of the five-year term to accelerate shipping’s decarbonization.

The investment would also be used to accelerate the financing of zero emission shipping.

A 10-month consultation period will begin with industry stakeholders. Berville said they would seek input from all sectors of the maritime world, noting that “A decarbonization trajectory will have to be defined for each type of ship.” The goal was to identify and remove technological barriers as they focus on decarbonizing the fishing fleet and recreational boats as well as the commercial shipping industry, Berville added.

Berville said they would be launching a team dedicated to decarbonization within his department.

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