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Ship Shape: The IMO and Emission Control Areas

Posted Oct. 10, 2008 / Posted by: RConnors

Ship ShapeFriends of the Earth and Friends of the Earth International have been working tirelessly with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to revise an international agreement that would strengthen ship emissions standards and allow countries to apply for Emission Control Area (ECA) expansions along their coastlines. This work is about to pay off!

Our staff has been in London, England this week to participate in a major IMO meeting on ship pollution. The IMO is poised to formally approve revisions to MARPOL Annex VI. Within the ECAs, dramatic reductions in ship emissions would be required, improving air quality and significantly benefiting public health and the environment.

Friends of the Earth has participated in negotiations at the IMO, generated extensive coverage of the negative health impacts of ship emissions, and submitted technical papers supporting stronger standards. Our policy successes at the state and national levels to reduce air pollution from ships also helped push the IMO into finally adopting stronger international air pollution standards. With victory at the IMO, we will turn our attention to establishing an ECA along the entire North American coastline.

IMO discussions will also cover the Secretariat's call to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from ships, which contribute over 1 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide annually to the atmosphere -- nearly 4 percent of all human-produced carbon dioxide worldwide.

Click here to read John Kaltenstein's blog about the IMO meeting and its developments.

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