The CleanCruiseNetwork alliance was founded in 2016 and gathers NGOs mainly from the Mediterranean region such as Spain, France, Italy, Malta, Greece, as well as Transport & Environment and NABU from Germany.
The alliance has launched a campaign with the “Rome Declaration”, to achieve the greatest number of possible supports for this initiative. According to the campaign, Spain has to:
- Actively support the creation of an Emission Control Area in the Mediterranean Sea (Med-ECA) to limit air pollution produced by ships, thus supporting efforts in this direction initiated by France and other coastal states of the Mediterranean.
- Coordinate with the European Commission, with France and the rest of member states of the European Union (EU), as well as with non-EU coastal states, to ensure the creation of said Mediterranean ECA and, subsequently, once created, to support the implementation of a cooperative cross-border management of the same.
- To urgently implement the relevant measures in the Ports of the State to ensure the reduction of emissions from ships, forcing them, once they are docked, to connect to the electricity grid for daily operation, among other measures.
The success of the Emission Control Areas that exist in Northern Europe, North America and other areas, indicates that the creation of an ECA in the Mediterranean Sea would also generate significant benefits. It will improve air quality, not only in the maritime routes and coastal areas but also in the port and cities situated on the peninsula. Other resutls will be immediate improvements in public health, less damage to ecosystems and cultural heritage. It will also enable member states to reduce air pollution at the local level and the impact on global warming.
Moreover, the establishment of a regulatory framework for ECAs in the North Sea, the Baltic Sea and the English Channel has improved air quality of up to 50% since 2015. It has also led to socio-economic benefits valued in billions of euros.
Maritime traffic is a particularly important source of air pollution. Namely, the European Commission estimates that every year 50,000 Europeans die prematurely from air pollution caused by ships, especially from nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, tropospheric ozone and particulate matter.