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The immediate issue is new regulations, which take effect on 1 January 2015, requiring all ships operating in the Baltic and North Sea emission control areas to only burn low-sulphur (0.1%) fuel or have SOx abatement technology installed.
Campaigners who lobbied for Denmark to make this money available – notably the country’s Ecocouncil NGO – believe several factors led to the decision, but a very important one was concerns held by progressive ship owners that they would face unfair competition from ship owners who ignored fuel rules unless proper enforcement took place.