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).
Today MEPs voted to reject a proposal to monitor nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions from shipping, which is set to overtake all land-based sources by 2020. Transport & Environment says EU governments must not waste this unique opportunity to monitor two of the most harmful air pollutants, NOx and sulphur (SOx), as part of the monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) of shipping emissions proposal.
The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) today abandoned the fixed start date for new NOx emissions control areas (NECAs), which require an 80% cut in NOx from new ships sailing in specially designated zones. Instead, the IMO will replace the 2016 application date with flexible provisions for any NECAs established after that date. Transport & Environment (T&E) deplores this rushed-through decision, as it will negatively impact on the environment and the health of Europeans.
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 European Parliament’s Environment Committee voted overwhelmingly today to support and strengthen some elements of the Commission’s proposal for monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) of shipping emissions. Transport & Environment welcomes the inclusion of the air pollutant NOx in the monitoring measure. However, MEPs rejected the chance to use ship efficiency as an accurate measure of emissions, which is the key to improving the sector’s environmental performance.
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. 
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.