Barcelona Convention Agrees Med ECA Roadmap

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Monday December 9, 2019

Shipping emissions in the Mediterranean region could be subject to tighter controls by 2024, a conference has decided.

The Barcelona Convention, which met in the southern Italian city of Naples last week and whose parties are bound to protect Mediterranean seas from environmental decay, has agreed a roadmap leading to an emissions control area (ECA) in the region.

However, the plan focuses on sulfur leaving out nitrogen with a proposal going to the International Maritime Organisation in 2022, a delay of two years over France's original plans.

Environmental non-governmental organisation Nabu has welcomed the move but wants the process to speed up and include nitrogen oxide shipping emissions along with sulfur.

Sönke Diesener, the organisation's shipping expert, has welcomed the Naples' decision but urged parties to expedite the process.

"This is a great success for the protection of environment and human health," Diesener said.

But the expert continued: "Unfortunately, some players were successful in delaying the process and tightening the scope to only sulphur emissions. Given the evidence of three tabled ECA assessments, political parties should not waste a single day to reduce air pollution from ships in the region."

The momentum behind setting up a Mediterranean ECA has gained ground in recent years. This year Spain joined France in getting behind the initiative. ECAs alaready exist in the North and Baltic Seas.