Paris Conference Hears Call For Mediterranean ECA

Tuesday May 15, 2018

A rising threat to human health from shipping emissions has lent urgency to the case for an emissions control area (ECA) in the Mediterranean region, a Paris conference on regional shipping emissions has been told.

The event, which had the French environment ministry as one of its backers, saw German transport expert Axel Friedrich make an impassioned plea for action.

What sense was there in having an ECA in northern Europe when there wasn't one in the south?

"Is the value of life worth any less in Europe's northern states than it is in the south?" Friedrich asked delegates.

The results of research from Italian academic Dr Carla Ancona were presented at conference. They established a clear link between emissions from ships and their detrimental effect on populations living in and around a number of Italian ports.

Friedrich said that the situation on shipping emissions and public health could be a lot worse than indicated by research. He said that in many cases, air monitoring stations in harbours were often located away from where pollution was most concentrated and that actual levels of pollution in harbour areas could be much higher than first thought.

The one day conference held on Tuesday in the French capital was notable for the range of delegates in attendence with representatives from the major Mediterranean maritime states including from north Africa, as well as shipping and refining organisations.