An alliance of several European environmental organizations, recently adopted a declaration to designate the Mediterranean Sea an Emission Control Area (ECA), aimed at limiting air pollution from ships.
The document, known as the “Rome Declaration”, was signed by a group of NGO’s including BirdLife Malta, Cittadini per l’Aria, France Nature Environnement, Ecologistas en Acción and the German Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU). The signatories urge policy makers to take action on shipping related air pollution and work in particular towards the establishment of a Mediterranean Emission Control Area.
The Baltic Ports Organization (BPO) has always supported the efforts to keep the Baltic Sea region clean, while at the same time emphasizing the importance of a level playing field for the entire maritime sector. A similar sentiment can be found reflected in the declaration: “(…) the establishment of a Mediterranean ECA will restore the level playing field in the single European market where ship owners/operators and ports in the South face the same regulatory requirements as in the North”.
The introduction of SECA in the Baltic had positive environmental effect, combining a significant drop in emissions with moderate costs carried by the transport sector. Baltic ports played an active role, promoting LNG as one of the alternative fuels for shipping among other initiatives.
Over the years, Baltic ports gathered a great amount of experience in the field of environmental management. Based on this knowledge, they can present a set of good practices that can be followed by other European ports, knowledge they are very much willing to share. The regionally developed cooperation method can be considered a role model approach to the topic at hand.
Bogdan Ołdakowski, the BPO Secretary General, said:
“BPO follows various initiatives and discussions on the introduction of similar limits in other regions in the EU. We have openly declared that we would welcome the same regulations being applied in all of EU. We would be glad to share our experience with other ports and the maritime transport sector in the EU, which is a part of our policy: Baltic as a model region for green ports and maritime transport”.
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