A central element of efforts to tackle pollution from ships has suddenly been threatened to be set back by five years. Last week, the environment committee of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) proposed to delay a measure limiting nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions in specifically designated sea areas, from 2016 to 2021. T&E described the delay, which took most observers by surprise, as ‘a disaster’ and ‘a shameful act by the IMO’ that punishes those who have invested in cleaner technology.
Today the member states of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) agreed on a Resolution on technology cooperation, which was delaying the implementation of standards to improve the energy efficiency of new ships. This resolution had been in discussion for two years and was hindering any progress on other measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from ships.
The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) today decided to postpone the entry into force of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions limits for ship engines from 2016 to 2021. Environmental NGOs Transport & Environment (T&E) and Seas at Risk, founding members of the IMO observer organisation Clean Shipping Coalition, condemn IMO’s decision and now call on the EU to adopt its own NOx limits for cleaner air.
In this second of two blog posts, policy officer for clean shipping, Antoine Kedzierski looks back at the origins of the Polar Code, the international code of safety for shipping in Polar waters, the recent International Maritime Organisation (IMO) decision on the environmental chapter and what a robust Polar Code should look like.
One wonders whether the 50,000 Europeans who die prematurely each year as a result of ship pollution would agree with industry laments on green laws for the sector.
Monitoring of fuel consumption and GHG emissions from international shipping is currently under discussion at the EU level as well as at the IMO. There are several approaches to monitoring, each with different characteristics. Important differences exist with regards to the costs of the equipment, operational costs, the accuracy of the measurements, and the potential to monitor emissions of gases other than CO2. Moreover, some approaches offer more opportunities to improve the operational fuel-efficiency of ships and fit better to possible future policies than others.The following report discusses these approaches.
Opinion by Antoine Kedzierski.
It would be wrong to say that nobody benefits from global warming. Some people may end up doing quite well out of it because of the changes it brings. And one of these changes is that melting ice in the Arctic opens up new trans-polar shipping routes. Ideally, they wouldn’t exist, because global temperatures would have stayed within acceptable levels. But because the Arctic is already warming twice as rapidly as the rest of the globe, these routes do exist.
In this first of two blog posts, policy officer for clean shipping, Antoine Kedzierski questions the wisdom of some often-repeated statements on Arctic shipping and looks at the urgent need for decisive progress on the Polar Code.
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 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.