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Green boating on canals and rivers

We want boating on canals and rivers to be more sustainable and – even though the current overall contribution to UK carbon emissions is very small – we want to help reduce emissions on the waterways.

We’re campaigning for:

300 charging points

This is an essential step towards electric propulsion. In the meantime, it would reduce emissions from stoves for heating and engines run for charging batteries.

More dredging

A national dredging programme on the inland waterways would make propulsion of all boats significantly more efficient. It will also improve water quality and management at times of both high and low flow.


HVO is already approved by most, if not all, current diesel engine manufacturers and we are trialling it in engines from manufacturers who are no longer trading. We are conducting trials of HVO in a variety of domestic devices used for heating, cooking and water heating. We are also campaigning for tax cuts to make this almost carbon neutral alternative more affordable.

Further technologies

Future developments will inevitably piggy-back on automotive ones. Work on hydrogen production and distribution is already underway. Before hydrogen becomes available, solid oxide cells powered by propane could cut emissions by about 80% and the use of supercapacitors instead of batteries could eliminate charging losses.

Greener boating now & in the future


All about biofuels – such as HVO – & why they are the best way to make boating greener now.

Green boating tips

Not sure where to start? Have a look at our top tips.

Electric boats

Find out about electric boats and greener, new-build boats of the future.

Greener boating news


IWA Vision for Sustainable Propulsion

Authored by IWA’s Sustainable Propulsion sub-committee, this report brings to life IWA’s vision for more environmentally friendly waterways