Positive Environment News

Curbing Ship Emissions Needs Global Rules - Chamber

Date: 10-Sep-07
Country: FINLAND

Public pressure is building for ship owners to curb air
pollution and take part in markets in permits to emit sulphur and
greenhouse gases.

Shipping accounts for about 10 percent of world sulphur
dioxide emissions, a cause of acid rain, and large amounts of
toxic nitrous oxide and particulates such as soot.

"Any pollution reduction solutions that we contemplate
together with the authorities must look at the net environmental
benefit globally," the chairman, Spyros Polemis, said on the
margins of an industry seminar.

"Our mantra is global regulation for a global industry with
consistent and enforceable rules adopted by the United Nations'
International Maritime Organisation (IMO)," he told Reuters.

The London-based IMO, the world's top shipping body, has
been examining ways to cut air emissions from ships.

Some industry groups have called for a complete ban on high
sulphur marine fuels, in favour of running the world's merchant
fleet on cleaner-burning distillate fuels.

But Polemis said he saw the use of distillate fuels as only
part of the solution, adding that the IMO should consider
carefully before supporting a ban on higher sulphur fuels in the
middle of the ocean.

He said running ships on cleaner fuels could end up
producing more climate-changing gases, such as carbon dioxide,
because of the energy-intensive nature of the refining process.

"We do believe strongly that IMO should continue to explore
other options for achieving compliance with agreed goals on
reducing air emissions," he told the seminar.

Polemis said booming maritime markets on the back of
explosive raw materials demand in China and India had benefited
the trillion-dollar industry, enabling ship owners to build
bigger and more efficient vessels.

"Because of the increased freights (rates) it has given ship
owners the money and the ability to order new ships. There has
been a benefit from the expansion of China and India," he said.

© Thomson Reuters 2007 All rights reserved

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