Legislation cutting nitrogen oxides (NOx) from shipping in the Baltic and North Seas has moved a step closer with a decision by countries bordering the Baltic Sea to apply for tighter NOx limits in designated so-called ‘emission control areas’ (ECAs).
The world’s first code of conduct for ships using the newly accessible Arctic shipping routes has been agreed, but environmental groups say it does not go far enough and, without further strengthening, it is just a question of when a serious incident occurs in the Arctic and Antarctic environments.
Efforts to improve air quality at sea have been boosted by the decision of the Danish government to spend DKK 7 million (around €940,000) on making sure ships observe the regulations aimed at guaranteeing clean air. The money will be used for controls to make sure all ships comply with air quality legislation.
MEPs have voted to exclude nitrogen oxides (NOx) from the monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) of shipping emissions in the EU, despite the fact that NOx from shipping in Europe is expected to exceed all land-based sources by 2020. The vote came shortly after a decision by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to delay stricter NOx engine standards for new ships operating in any newly declared NOx emissions control areas (NECAs).
Curtailing nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from ships is ‘technically feasible’, according to a new study published ahead of this week’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) meeting that will decide on a proposal to postpone the 2016 introduction of NOx emission control areas at sea.
An International Maritime Organisation (IMO) proposal to delay the start of stricter nitrogen oxide standards would undermine the EU’s air quality goals and should be opposed, the European Commission has said. In April, an IMO committee will decide on whether to postpone the 2016 date for the introduction of stricter NOx emissions standards from new ships operating in NOx control areas (NECAs).
The most effective way to reduce carbon emissions from shipping is also the most economic. That is the message from a new study commissioned by T&E and Seas at Risk (SAR) that looks at monitoring and reducing maritime emissions. It says ship operators could save €5-9 million a year if they invested in 21st-century technology.
The International Maritime Organisation earlier this month reached preliminary agreement on a ‘Polar Code’ of safety and environmental rules for ships in the Arctic and Antarctic. But the final draft contains few meaningful environmental provisions, such as requiring vessels to have strengthened hulls or even operate at reduced speed in supposedly ‘ice-free’ waters.