The UK government has launched a consultation on including vessels in its emissions trading scheme (ETS).

A paper on developing the decarbonisation mechanism reveals a measure could be in place in the maritime sector by the “mid-2020s”, bringing the UK into line with the European Union.

The scheme was launched last May to replace the EU ETS following Brexit.

So far it has applied only to power plants, factories and airlines, representing around one-third of the country’s emissions.

“We propose to include domestic maritime within the UK ETS by the mid-2020s and will aim to provide more details on timing for implementation later this year,” the consultation document from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy said.