Yesterday at the G7 meeting of environmental ministers in Metz, France the Italian minister Sergio Costa met with his French counterpart, François De Rugy. Among the topics discussed, it was decided to carry out a joint initiative to obtain the declaration of a combined SECA and NECA (emission control area for sulphur and nitrogen oxides) for the entire Mediterranean Sea, something that has already been championed by Spain.
A coalition of NGOs stated yesterday that lower air pollution concentrations from ships in the Mediterranean will save 16,000 premature deaths and save up to EUR25bn in health costs.
In related news, another European country is looking at developing its own ECA. The United Kingdom has held discussions with neighbour Ireland about creating a 0.1% sulphur cap control area. The UK’s eastern seaboard is already in an ECA with the North Sea and the Baltic Sea further east currently Europe’s two existing emission control areas.