At the G7 meeting of Environmental Ministers in Metz, France, on May 6, the Italian Minister Costa met with his French counterpart, De Rugy. Among the topics discussed, it was decided to conduct a joint initiative to get the declaration of a combined SECA and NECA for the entire Mediterranean Sea. Spain has also spoke out in favour for an ECA as well.
Already established measures have paved the way for a more environmental-friendly shipping. A key example is the IMO NOx Tier III limits. These limits apply to engines installed on or after 1 January 2016, that are operating in Emission Control Areas and establish a strict limit on their emissions.
ICS has welcomed many of the agreements made during MEPC 70 last week. First and moremost, ICS applauded IMO road map addressing CO2 emissions from international shipping with initial CO2 reduction commitments to be agreed by IMO by 2018.
IMO MEPC 70 has agreed to limit NOx emissions from ships’ exhaust gases in the Baltic Sea and the North Sea. After final confirmations at the next MEPC meeting in spring 2017, these two decisions will create a larger NECA for new ships built in or after 2021.
MEPC 70 has concluded with a decision on defined tasks and timelines to reduce GHG emissions from ships and also to have a global 0.5% sulphur limit in 2020 and a NECA in the North Sea and Baltic Sea. These IMO decisions on global regulation of ship emissions have been applauded by ECSA and the European Commission.
The Port Authorities of Antwerp, Hamburg, Rotterdam, Le Havre and Bremen/Bremerhaven strongly support the submissions of the North Sea and the Baltic countries to designate the North Sea and the Baltic Sea as NECA by 2021 and call upon MEPC 70 to support these submissions during this week, 24-28th October 2016.
The Swedish Government will investigate the consequences for Swedish industry by the introduction of a nitrogen emission control area, NECA, in the Baltic Sea and the North Sea. Currently, IMO is studying how a NECA could be implemented.
HELCOM says that the final decision on whether the Baltic Sea becomes a NOx Emission Control Area (NECA) is in the hands of the IMO. According to estimates, Baltic Sea NECA has potential to reduce the annual nitrogen input cost-efficiently and significantly – around 7 kilotons – to the Baltic Sea.
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