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European Environment Agency critical of shipping air pollution

The shipping sector has been described as ‘one of the most unregulated sources of air pollution’. In a report on shipping, the European Environment Agency (EEA) says emissions from the sector have ‘increased substantially’ over the last two decades. Nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter (PM2.5) levels have risen by as much as 35-55% between 1990 and 2010, and nitrogen oxide emissions could increase so much in the coming years that they could be equal to land-based sources by 2020. 

Hong Kong – a green port?

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Hong Kong could become the host to Asia’s first marine emissions control area. The chief executive of the city says he wants to create a ‘green port’ in the Pearl River Delta, once he has achieved his aim of making it obligatory for all ships in the delta to use low-sulphur fuel. The plan has the support of the Hong Kong ship owners, and the city’s policy institute Civic Exchange described it as ‘a major policy breakthrough in ship emissions control’. Comments from the cities of Guangzhou and Shenzhen also supported the idea of a ‘green port’ as part of efforts to develop a low-carbon Chinese economy.

Lettre ouverte à Mr Frédéric Cuvillier, Ministre délégué en charge des transports, de la mer et de la pêche

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This letter, jointly written by Transport & Environment, European Environmental Bureau and France Nature Environnement was sent to the French Minister of Transport regarding France's position on the implementation of the revised sulphur in marine fuels directive.

Slower ship speeds make massive difference to emissions

More evidence about the significant contribution slower speeds can make to reducing emissions from shipping has come from a new American study. The study reinforces the thinking behind speed limits for ships proposed by the California Air Resources Board, and confirms findings in a T&E study published earlier this year.

VAT on international passenger transport

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In October 2012 the European Commission launched a public consultation on 'Review of existing legislation on VAT reduced rates'. T&E has been campaigning to abolish the reduced rates for international passenger transport for years due to the harmful competitive distortions caused by those rates and the implicit subsidy it provides for passenger transport, especially in the aviation sector. 

Arctic meltdown

A record number of ships have used the Northern Sea Route, highlighting and worsening the effects of Arctic melting. The number of ships using the Arctic shortcut between Europe and Asia has increased 10 times in the past two years, and this year 46 ships carrying a record 1.26 million tonnes of cargo – about half of it petroleum products – used the route for more months than it has ever been passable.

Monitoring is not tackling! Environmental groups criticise lack of Commission progress to reduce shipping emissions

Environmental groups have criticised a long-awaited Commission announcement on greenhouse gases from shipping. A coalition of NGOs headed by T&E has welcomed forthcoming measures to monitor emissions from maritime transport, but says they should not mask the fact that the EU is taking no action to cut such emissions, despite the presence of numerous cost-effective options for doing so.

NGOs disappointed at new postponement of action to cut shipping emissions

The European Commission has announced today that it will propose, in early 2013, measures to monitor, verify and report on Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions from shipping. This measure will apply to all ships calling at EU ports and could also be the basis for a global approach towards cleaner shipping. This is an important prerequisite to further action and NGOs Transport & Environment and Seas At Risk call on EU states to proceed quickly to implement this measure and ensure that information on ship efficiency is shared transparently.

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