At the meeting of the parties to the Barcelona Agreement in Antalya this week, the Mediterranean countries agreed to designate an emission control area for sulfur emissions (Mediterranean Emission Control Area – MedECA).
MedECA could come into force in January 2025.ccording to the routines of decision-making at the International Maritime Organization, the
A passage on the reduction of harmful nitrogen emissions from ships will not be included in the proposal for the IMO for the time being. However, the coastal states have agreed to work on introducing an Emission Control Area for this over the next two years.
The decision of the Mediterranean states in favor of an environmental zone at sea is a big step forward towards clean air in the Mediterranean region. NABU brought this idea to the region in 2015 after the North and Baltic Seas were declared an environmental zone at sea. Together with our partners, we have worked towards this goal for many years in order to finally get the toxic heavy oil out of the tanks and to reduce the risk of heavy oil disasters. Now we have taken an important first step for the Mediterranean.
….NABU Federal Managing Director Leif Miller said.
Beate Klünder, NABU shipping expert: “The downside of the decision is that we were unable to achieve effective regulation to reduce harmful nitrogen oxide emissions from ships. This is disappointing, as comprehensive scientific findings show that only a joint approach to the environmentally and health-damaging sulfur and nitrogen emissions can bring maximum success for nature and health. A combined ECA in the Mediterranean could prevent 3,100 to 4,100 premature deaths annually from 2030. “After almost ten years of successful ECA in the North and Baltic Seas, there is enough experience on the positive effects, adds Klünder.” You could have introduced both together to end the inequality of treatment between people in the north and south.
To remind, sulfur oxide, nitrogen oxide and (ultra) fine particulate matter (PM) emissions from shipping pose a significant threat to human health, the environment and the climate.
As informed, worldwide, 60,000 premature deaths per year are linked to air pollution from ships. In the EU alone, this will result in health costs of around 60 billion annually. Emissions from ships also contribute significantly to environmental pollution in the Mediterranean region, with around 250 million inhabitants.