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  • Air pollution from barges

    The European Commission says it wants to reduce air pollution from barges as a way of making freight transport by inland waterways more environmentally friendly. 

    Around 6% of European cargo is transported on barges, a figure the Commission wants to increase as canal and river transport is low on greenhouse gas emissions – though there are problems with nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM). Emissions standards from barges are extremely lax compared to other diesel machines and road vehicles. T&E is campaigning on diesel machines, which include canal barges, saying there needs to be stricter regulation of air pollution. Non-road diesel machinery accounts for around 15% of NOx emissions in the EU. Air pollution is thought to be responsible for about 350,000 premature deaths a year in the EU and 100 million work days lost to illness.