ECA extension under consideration (file image/pixabay)
The UK is to consider extending the 0.1% sulfur cap on the use of bunker fuel in place in emissions control areas (ECA) which include the North and Baltic Seas.
The UK is to launch a consultation on the issue by March next year, according to a report by price-reporting agency Platts.
In addition, UK ports are to be asked to come up with plans to improve air quality, the report said.
Ships transiting an ECA must use compliant bunker fuel or have the necessary equipment to remove pollutants from their exhaust emissions
The North Sea ECA includes areas on the UK's northeastern coastline leaving its south, west and northern flanks outside the zone.
The French government is also looking closely at the issue, in this case an extending an ECA for the Mediterranean Sea. Although this might prove to be a big ask politically (given the number of states involved), a conference is to take place in Marseille in September to see how the issue might be taken forward.