The European Network calls the decision makers to fasten their process on officializing a Mediterranean ECA, commenting that the plan for the designation of a MedECA that was discussed during the UNEP Mediterranean Action Plan meeting “is by far not ambitious enough in timing and scope.”
During a Piraeus Conference, November 20, the participants agreed that Mediterranean states need to agree on a fast road map, and the finalization should be made no longer than 2020.
Additionally, the participants noted that a MedECA should include the whole Sea and address sulphur and nitrogen emissions at the same time as to effectively save lives, reduce health costs and prevent environmental damage.
Daniel Rieger, NABU Shipping expert commented that
While there is already a lot of support from littoral states such as France, Italy and Spain other countries with a strong link to the shipping industry are still hesitant to join the initiative. However, there is no doubt that Greece, Malta and Cyprus own their citizens the right to breathe fresh air. Therefore they should not play for time.
In addition, George Sgouros, Director of Ornithologiki stated that the Greek Government must act immediately and follow suit the French initiative. He added that if the health benefits were not enough research also shows significant economic benefits and that such a regulation could even stimulate maritime industries as it comes as a innovation catalyst.