Mediterranean countries agree to reduce sulphur emissions from ships

After years of negotiations, Mediterranean countries have agreed to designate the region as an Emission Control Area at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in order to reduce air pollution from shipping.

The decision was made this week in Naples at the conference of the parties to the Barcelona Convention for the protection of the Mediterranean.

Under IMO rules, from 1 January ships must stop using fuels containing more than 0.5% sulphur unless they are equipped with systems to clean up exhaust fumes. In Emission Control Areas (ECAs) such as the English Channel, the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, however, the amount can be lowered to 0.1%.

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