Increasing numbers of ever-larger cargo and cruise ships are contributing to air pollution in harbour cities. We want to see meaningful action taken to cut harmful emissions.
Air pollution from ships is a growing problem in many coastal communities. The heavy fuel oil burnt by large ships is especially polluting. Nitrogen and sulphur oxides and particulate matter are linked to a host of respiratory and other diseases, and threaten marine ecosystems.
Ship owners can take steps to reduce pollution, for example by switching to low-sulphur fuel. Meanwhile, investment in shore-side power connections can reduce the amount of time engines are left running at port.
KIMO supports moves to accelerate switching to low-sulphur and low-carbon fuels.
Air and noise pollution from ships at port can be reduced by switching to shore-side power connections. Rather than running their engines to generate electricity, vessels can be ‘plugged in’ to shore-side electricity that is generated in compliance with strict environmental regulations
KIMO calls for mandatory reductions in air pollution from ships in port and for an accelerated roll out of shore-side electricity supplies. Furthermore, since 2016 we have been calling on the European Union to require that any new vessels entering service be equipped to connect to and use shore-side electricity supplies.
In order to reduce harmful emissions, some ships have fitted ‘scrubbers’ to clean exhaust gases. This equipment ‘cleans’ the ship’s fumes by leading exhaust gases through a fine spray of seawater that washes out acidifying sulphur oxide.
However, this process creates very large volumes of heavily-acidified and contaminated water. Too often, ships flush this water out into the sea, undermining action to achieve good environmental status in maritime areas.
Belgium and Germany have already banned the discharge of scrubber water, KIMO would like to see other governments follow suit.