Calls grow for Mediterranean ECA

Air pollution from ship traffic in the Mediterranean Sea can significantly be reduced with the introduction of an emission control area (ECA), a new report suggests.

France, which is behind the impact assessment, investigated potential air quality improvements in the region following a switch to better grade marine fuels as well as related socio-economic benefits especially in terms of reduced health costs and environmental damage. Inter alia the report highlights that particulate matter can be reduced by up to 20% and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels even by up to 76%, all of this leading to up to EUR14bn in reduced health costs and more than 6,000 lives that can be saved every year.

The key finding is that the regions would benefit most from a combined SECA and NECA. SO2 would be reduced by 77 % and in port areas even by 100 %. NO2 would decline by up to 76% in coastal areas and the east of the Mediterranean Sea. The annual mean of PM2.5 would go down by 15% to 20%. About 6,000 premature deaths will be avoided due to the reduction of the particle pollution.

The report claims shipping air pollution can represent up to 40% of Mediterranean costal city air pollution.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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