Emissions from shipping targeted in EU strategy

Draft EU directive outlines SO2 limits for marine fuel; urges swift action on other pollutants

The European Commission today released details of a proposed new EU directive imposing limits on the sulphur content of fuel used in shipping, in a bid to slash emissions of sulphur dioxide (SO2) and particulates. Part of a wider strategy to reduce six types of emissions from ships, it involves extending a 1999 directive on sulphur content in marine fuels to cover heavy fuel oil, the most widely used type.

The contribution to specific emission volumes made by shipping in comparison with land-based sources has seen a huge increase in recent years. An EU survey this summer predicted that SO2 emissions in EU sea areas would equal 75% of all land-based emissions by 2010, and nitrogen dioxide 66% (EED 08/08/02).

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