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IMO’s ‘Polar Code’ ignores environmental dangers of increased Arctic and Antarctic shipping

The new draft ‘Polar Code’ of safety and environmental rules fails to address the looming danger of having non ice-strengthened and poorly prepared ships in supposedly ‘ice-free’ polar waters, environmental organisations have warned. The final draft, drawn up today by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), governs ships operating in Arctic and Antarctic waters. Increased shipping activity poses significant new threats to the polar environment and wildlife through oil spills, black carbon deposition, sewage discharges and the introduction of invasive species. [1] 

Report suggests win-win opportunity for ship owners and the environment

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.

Carmakers failing citizens on filters

The health of millions of European citizens is being put at risk by carmakers’ failure to put cheap particle filters on new direct-injection petrol engines. The new engines are more fuel-efficient and emit much less carbon dioxide than traditional petrol engines, but T&E-commissioned testing shows they typically emit around 1,000 times more harmful particles, which cause cancer and pose other threats to human health.

Polar Code ‘lacks ambition’

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.

Advanced methods of Monitoring, Reporting and Verifying of shipping emissions save money

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This study, by consultancy CE Delft,  concludes that advanced fuel and emissions monitoring of large ships could help save owners and operators up to €9 million per year. These savings would come from the lower operational costs of using automated systems such as fuel flow meters or continuous emissions monitoring, which would monitor, report and verify ship emissions and fuel-burn more efficiently. 

An NGO Assessment of the European Year of Air

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At the end of the 2013 ‘Year of Air’, environmental organisations took a look back at what the European Commission has achieved in terms of air quality and, more importantly, looked ahead to the next steps for 2014 and beyond. With this assessment, Transport & Environment, AirClim, ClientEarth, the European Environmental Bureau, and the Health and Environment Alliance examine where we stand compared to the start of the year and ask whether there are tangible signs of EU action.

Letter to EU Environment Ministers calling for action on shipping NOx emissions

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A letter to EU Environment Ministers from a coalition of environmental, health and citizens’ organisations expressing concern over the lack of ambition to address nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions from international shipping.

10 things that went well for sustainable transport in 2013

Yes, this editorial has an unlikely title. If you have been following us, or the issues we work on, a little bit, the overwhelming impression is that things have been scaled back (emissions-trading aviation), postponed (the Fuel Quality Directive, possibly NOx from ship engines, truck CO2 emissions) and watered down (CO2 from cars, biofuels).

Letter to the IMO Secretary-General concerning the review of low-sulphur fuel

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The Clean Shipping Coalition and other environmental NGOs wrote to the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organisation expressing concern at recent statements that suggested the IMO Secretariat itself was taking a position to advance the review date for the availability of low-sulphur fuels.

New petrol engines cause more air pollution than dirty diesels

New Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) petrol engines for cars emit more cancer-causing particles than modern diesel engines, a new study by independent vehicle researchers TÜV Nord revealed today. While GDI engines make petrol cars more fuel-efficient and emit less CO2, the findings show that these new petrol engines typically release around 1,000 times more harmful particles than traditional petrol engines and 10 times more than new diesels.

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