A NABU event held on Tuesday gathered experts, politicians and environmentalists, agreeing that the timeline to implement a Mediterranean Emission Control Area (MedECA) for ships lacks in tempo and scope of content.
While other Emission Control Areas implemented already in 2015 will now also cover nitrogen oxide emissions, the plan for the Mediterranean foresees only sulphur dioxide and will not be effective before 2024.
In this respect, Catherine Chabaud, Member of EU Parliament called for stricter regulation of emissions from ships, noting that there should be an Emission Control Area for sulphur and nitrogen dioxide, not only for the Mediterranean Sea, but for all European waters.
Shipping is the main source of air pollution in many places around the Mediterranean Sea…It is absolutely intolerable that people around the Mediterranean Sea have to wait for fresh air while northern Europe as well as China and North America already forced the industry to switch to cleaner fuels. This step moreover in-centivises new technologies that help to reduce air pollutant but also climate emissions. The presented studies show clearly that Europe will benefit eco-nomically and environmentally,
…states Sönke Diesener, Transport Policy Offi-cer at NABU and coordinator of the MedECA NGO network.
The calls follow studies by French government and the EU Commission, backing up the need for a comprehensive Emission Control Area in the Mediterranean Sea, while showing further needs to decrease air pollution.
Currently, there is a roadmap in place to designate the Mediterranean Sea an Emission Control Area for sulphur dioxide only.
Activists and environmentalists demand their local authorities to already do what they can to bring down pollution levels by regulation in ports and coastal areas. Regulatory measures and technical solutions are available but lack implementation. If regulation puts a price on pollution be it air pollutants or green house gases the technical hurdles are comparatively low to solve problems in just a few years from now,