Clear The Air Ships Air Pollution Blog Rotating Header Image

Cruise industry ‘failing’ environment and public health, report claims

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/cruises/articles/cruise-industry-failing-environment-and-public-health-report-claims/

The authors of a critical report that analyses the impact of cruise ships on public health and the environment have launched a withering attack on the industry and the organisation that regulates it.

Researchers at Naturschutzbund Deutschland (NABU), the German NGO behind the report, claim European cruise ships are belching out 3,500 times more sulphur dioxide than land-based vehicles, thus contributing to a range of issues including climate change, air pollution and lung problems.

“The shipping sector is lagging far behind what’s going on on land [in terms of regulating emissions],” said Daniel Rieger, a researcher at NABU. “Air pollution from ships is damaging global climate and human health.”

Rieger claims the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), which regulates shipping, could be doing more to tackle pollution caused by the cruise industry.

In most countries, he says, the maximum permitted sulphur emissions for land-based vehicles is capped at 10 parts per million (0.001 per cent); however, thanks to the IMO, the cruise industry has a more lenient limit of 3.5 per cent, which allows operators to use “cheap and dirty” heavy fuel oil.

“[The IMO] works so slow that we have to wait at least 10 or 20 years more until effective regulation will be in place,” said Rieger.

That’s not strictly true: last month the IMO announced new legislation that will slash sulphur emissions for vessels from 3.5 per cent to 0.5 per cent, though it won’t come into effect until 2020.

“Ships are subject to quite clear, quite stringent requirements with regards to their emissions and last month these were tightened still further,” said Lee Adamson, a spokesperson for the IMO.

“I have seen various comparisons done with different transport modes and what sometimes gets overlooked is that a ship is a very big unit and that it performs a very large amount of what you might call transport work.”

NABU believes the new IMO regulation does not go far enough and that cruise lines fall back on scrubbing technology to “clean” exhaust gasses rather than replace heavy fuel oil.

“What a scrubber does, technically, is spray some water on the exhaust,” explained Rieger. “The fallout is then washed into the open sea. Scrubbers just shift the problem from the air to the ocean, which, from an environmental perspective, is not the proper solution.”

NABU claims that while a handful of European cruise lines are going beyond what is legally required of them, the majority are not.

“Some are starting to take action voluntarily,” said Rieger, who helped compile a ranking system for European cruise ships. “We wanted to highlight the good guys.”

NABU rated European cruise vessels out of four, awarding a point for every measure the cruise line was taking to mitigate the ship’s impact on the environmental.

The vessels were assessed on the type of fuel they use, whether they are fitted with catalysts and particulate filters and whether they use alternative power sources when in ports. Half a point was awarded for ships that switched to cleaner fuels in Arctic waters.

The AIDAprima, flagship of AIDA Cruises, came out on top with a score of three. “It’s going beyond what is required legally,” said Rieger.

However, of the 55 European vessels assessed by NABU, 44 scored zero, including three ships operated by Royal Caribbean International.

Responding to the report, the cruise line’s managing director for UK and Ireland, Stuart Leven, told Telegraph Travel: “Royal Caribbean’s commitment to best environmental practices is fundamental to how we do business.

“We meet or exceed all environmental laws and regulations and our continuous improvement in performance is evidence of our seriousness in this area.”

Last month Royal Caribbean announced a new class of ship that will be powered by liquefied natural gas and employ fuel cell technology, which the company claims will usher in a new era of environmentally friendly cruising.

“These ships are set to be delivered in 2022 and 2024 and their green technologies will help our steady progress on increased energy efficiency and reduced emissions that will see us continue to raise the bar on environmental stewardship now and in years to come,” said Leven.

TUI Group told Telegraph Travel that it was working to improve the environmental friendliness of its cruise ships.

“These efforts include substantial investments in technology to minimize emissions for every new ship of our fleet,” said a spokesperson.

“The NABU ranking focuses on a very narrow set of technical solutions for reducing emissions. However, there are more ways to improve the environmental impact of cruise ships. The ranking does not reflect these manifold efforts.”

NABU admits its ranking system is simplistic, but maintains that it gives holidaymakers an opportunity to make informed decisions about what cruise ships they should take.

“If you would like to go on a cruise vacation and you’re interested in the environment and health you should have the opportunity to choose an operator that is taking care of this,” said Rieger.

Cruise ships: a paradise of fun or floating killing machine?

Every year tens of thousands of people die because of ship pollution, but cruise liner companies are slow to make the switch to green technology

http://www.atimes.com/article/cruise-ships-paradise-fun-floating-killing-machine/

At a football pitch next to Victoria Harbor in central Hong Kong, kids can be seen dribbling, running and scoring goals. In the background small Chinese fishing boats, local ferries and international cruise ships slowly pass by.

It’s almost idyllic. But the number of children playing for the team could have been considerably higher. Some parents have pulled their kids out of the club because of the ships vomiting out toxic smoke.

“Just look at all that black smoke, all that pollution,” says one of the mothers who doesn’t bring her son to the pitch anymore as we look out over the harbor. “I really love that he enjoyed playing for the team, but this is not a good place.”

Road traffic and factories are often, and correctly, blamed for the deadly smog that pollutes the air in south China and elsewhere across Asia. But every year tens of thousands of people die because of air pollution from the dirty bunker fuel ships burn.

For cruising companies — which are dependent on upholding a glamorous image to attract tourist — the issue is becoming an increasingly sensitive topic, with several green groups slamming the industry for negligence and paying lip service.

According to Cruise Lines International Association, the industry’s main trade group, the cruise ship industry is now one of the fastest growing sectors in the mass tourism market, with 24 million passengers expected to sail in this year compared to 15 million a decade earlier.

Hong Kong received 260,000 cruise passengers last year, twice as many as the year before, according to the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau of Hong Kong.

At the same time, pollution increases.

The shipping industry is by far the world’s biggest emitter of sulfur, with the sulfur dioxide content in heavy fuel oil up to 3,500 times higher than the latest European diesel standards for vehicles. Sulfur dioxide is responsible for deadly lung and heart diseases and may contain carcinogenic particles.

Each day when an average cruise ship is at sea it emits more sulfur dioxide than several million cars, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency. It can burn as much fuel in a day as a whole town.

But even at berth, cruise ships keep their engines running to provide electrical power to passengers and crew. Just imagine a car park with all cars having their motors on, day in day out.

Indeed, sulfur dioxide emissions of ocean-going vessels at berth accounts for 40% of its total emissions during its stay in Hong Kong, according to the government. Large ships make up one-third to half of airborne pollutants in Hong Kong.

A China-led report published in Nature Climate Change in July said that ship pollution caused an estimated 24,000 premature deaths a year in East Asia. About three-quarters of deaths were in China.

“It is time to crack down on the emissions and destructive development caused by vast container vessels that pollute the air and seas,” a group of Chinese and American academics recently concluded in another Nature article.

dirty-ten-nature_comment_pm-shipping-pollution-map_18-02-2016-web-new-1

Progress is being made in green shipping, with new technology and tougher regulations. Cruise ships can install smokestack scrubbers to remove sulfur dioxide, burn lower-sulfur fuel or use liquefied natural gas. They can plug into shore-side power rather than running their engines while in port.

“The direction of the cruise industry is that it is becoming more and more environmentally conscious,” Thatcher Brown, President of Dream Cruises, a new premium line owned by Genting Hong Kong, said in an interview.

“When I look at the industry I see a tremendous amount of progress. It’s never good enough, absolutely not. But some of the cruise lines, I take my hat of for them, are really impressive.”

Jeff Bent, Managing Director at Worldwide Cruise Terminals, operator of Hong Kong’s Kai Tak cruise terminal, said that the industry often was being portrayed unfairly and that much advancement was being made.

Last year, Hong Kong was the first port in Asia to require all ocean-going vessels (OGVs) to switch to low sulfur fuel at berth, with more parts of China following suit. Worldwide, the UN’s International Maritime Organization (IMO) plans to cut the sulfur limit for ships’ fuel to 0.5% from 2020 from a current 3.5%.

“I would say that with the fuel switch regulation in place, and lines installing scrubbers, the race for cleaner air is on,” Bent said.

Not all agree.

Cutting sulfur levels is a good start, says Bill Hemmings, marine expert at Brussels-based Transport and Environment group. But more has to be done to restrict the deadly pollution.

“[Cutting to] 0.5% is a dramatic global shift in one go. But ultimately along vulnerable coasts like Hong Kong and China we need 0.1% and eventually lower,” he said. “[A level of] 0.1% is still 100 times more sulfur than road diesel.”

A report released in June suggested an “ongoing lack of initiative by cruise companies” to address the liners’ environmental footprint and to install technologies that reduce their air and water pollution impact on travel destinations and local people.

“Despite its PR blitz regarding installation of new pollution reduction technology, the cruise industry continues to get an ‘F’ for transparency, and many are failing when it comes to air or water pollution or both,” Marcie Keever, oceans and vessels program director for environmental activist group Friends of the Earth, said in a statement.

“It’s way past time to set a higher bar for this dirty industry.”

Daniel Rieger, a transport officer at German environment group Nabu, was quoted by the Guardian earlier this year:

“Cruise companies create a picture of being a bright, clean and environmentally friendly tourism sector. But the opposite is true,” he said.

“One cruise ship emits as many air pollutants as five million cars going the same distance because these ships use heavy fuel that on land would have to be disposed of as hazardous waste.”

Last year, Hong Kong’s government shelved plans to install plug-in shore power, or cold ironing, at the Kai Tak terminal. The Environmental Protection Department said it would be too costly considering that only 16% of all international cruise ships are equipped with onshore power systems, and is “not a priority task among cruise ports in the Asia-Pacific region.”

And while happy cruise passengers continue to sail through the Hong Kong harbor, children playing football at the waterfront pitch will continue to fill their lungs with the ship’s toxic smoke.

Many ways to cut ship NOx emissions

Establishing NOx Emission Control Areas would significantly reduce ship NOx emissions by 2040 – introducing economic instruments could cut emissions faster and further.

http://airclim.org/acidnews/many-ways-cut-ship-nox-emissions

A new study has given projections of ship NOx emissions in the Baltic Sea, the North Sea and the English Channel up to 2040, and estimated the potential of various measures to reduce NOx emissions from international shipping.

Ships emit significant amounts of air pollution, including sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and small particles (PM2.5), causing serious damage to health and the environment. As a result of both EU and global regulations, sulphur emissions from ships are expected to gradually come down, but there is currently no regulation that will ensure any significant cuts in their NOx emissions.

The only existing regulation of NOx from international shipping is in Annex VI of the MARPOL Convention under the International Maritime Organization (IMO). However, the NOx emission standards in this regulation solely apply to newly constructed ship engines, and the currently (since 2012) applicable Tier II standard accomplishes just a modest 15 to 20 per cent emission reduction compared to an unabated Tier I engine.

There is however a stricter Tier III standard that requires emission reductions of about 80 per cent compared to a Tier I engine, but this applies only to newly built ships in designated NOx Emission Control Areas (NECA) which currently only exist in North America.

While the Tier II standard can be achieved by internal engine modifications that adjust combustion parameters, bigger changes are needed to reach the Tier III standard.

There are several different abatement options for reducing emissions of NOx from marine engines, including:

  • Exhaust gas after-treatment, where the main option is selective catalytic reduction (SCR).
  • Combustion modification using techniques such as exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) or methods where water is introduced in the engine.
  • Switching from marine fuel oils to, for example, liquefied natural gas (LNG) or methanol.
  • Reduced fuel consumption, e.g. through slow steaming.

According to the study, SCR, EGR and using LNG as fuel can all reduce NOx emissions to Tier III levels. Of these, SCR has the longest history of marine applications, LNG is increasingly being used as a marine fuel, and while EGR is said by engine manufacturers to live up to the standard, so far there is limited data from practical applications.

In terms of costs, EGR and the SCR have comparable costs per kg of NOx reduced, while the costs for LNG depend largely on whether an existing ship is rebuilt or the LNG system is installed on a new ship – the latter being considerably less costly than the former. Fluctuations in the LNG price also affect the potential return on investment.

In order to analyse the potential for reducing NOx emissions from shipping, the study made new projections of emissions up to 2040 in the Baltic Sea, the North Sea and the English Channel. Regarding activity levels, ship traffic was assumed to increase by 1.5 per cent per year for all ship types except container ships, where the increase was set at 3.5 per cent per year. The average lifetimes of ships were assumed to stay the same up to 2040, i.e. 25 to 28 years.

Expected improvements in transport efficiency will result in lower fuel consumption for comparable volumes of freight transport, and in this study efficiency is assumed to increase between 1.3 and 2.25 per cent per year for the different ship types. The authors point out that these values are quite optimistic and result in fuel consumption that is stable over time despite an increase in ship traffic.

Projections were given for two scenarios – one business-as-usual (BAU), i.e. with no NOx Emission Control Area (NECA), and another with a NECA in place from 2021.

Current (2015) emissions were estimated to amount to 830,000 tonnes of NOx. Under the BAU scenario, emissions in 2040 are expected to come down by about 14 per cent, to 715,000 tonnes. Assuming that a NECA is in place from 2021, emissions in 2040 would instead be reduced by nearly two-thirds, to 306,000 tonnes.

In addition to estimating the impact of a NECA, the study evaluated several policy instruments that could be implemented in addition or as an alternative to the NECA. These policy instruments would address NOx emissions from the entire fleet, not only from newly built ships.

Three policy instruments were shortlisted as the most promising for use in addition or as an alternative to a NECA:

The first option is a levy that ships have to pay for NOx emissions in the area. The revenue from the levy would be used to fund the uptake of NOx abatement measures in the sector.

The second option requires ships to reduce their speed by 15 per cent under the baseline speed when sailing in the area. As an alternative compliance option, the ships that prefer to stick to their baseline speed can pay a levy, depending on their NOx emissions in the area. The income from this levy would be used to fund NOx abatement measures in the sector.

The third option is a stand-alone levy that ships have to pay for their NOx emissions in the area. The revenue from this instrument is assumed to go to the member states and not to be earmarked.

These three instruments were evaluated regarding their NOx reduction potential and the associated costs for the sector if the levy rate was either set at €1, €2 or €3 per kg NOx. It was found that two of the three instruments were better at meeting the two criteria, firstly a levy & fund and secondly regulated slow steaming combined with a levy & fund.

Introducing a levy & fund instrument could quickly and significantly reduce ship NOx emissions. In 2025 emissions could be cut by two-thirds (67%) in the case of no NECA and by 61 per cent with a NECA in place (see table). In 2040, reductions would amount to about 70 per cent in the absence of a NECA, and about 30 per cent if a NECA is established. This is roughly twice the reduction achieved with regulated slow steaming combined with a levy & fund if the baseline speed is reduced by 15 per cent. However, costs for the sector of a levy & fund are also roughly twice the costs of regulated slow steaming combined with a levy & fund.

Table: NOx emissions from international shipping in the Baltic Sea, the North Sea and the English Channel 2005–2040 (thousand tonnes).

nox-emissions

Expressed in tonnes, this means that even with a NECA in place, the use of economic instruments could cut annual NOx emissions by about 400,000 tonnes on average throughout the 2020s. For comparison, this is more than the total land-based NOx emissions of Sweden, Denmark and Finland combined, which in 2014 amounted to 385,000 tonnes.

Because the Tier III NECA standard applies only to newly built ships and ships have a very long lifetime, the introduction of economic instruments such as a levy & fund would provide a very useful complement to the NECA, by also ensuring significant emission cuts in the short term. Assume, for example, that a levy & fund is adopted and put into practice in the Baltic Sea and the North Sea in 2021, this would achieve an accumulated additional emission reduction over the ten years up to 2030 amounting to nearly four million tonnes of NOx.

Christer Ågren

The study “NOx controls for shipping in EU seas” (June 2016) was commissioned by Transport & Environment and prepared jointly by the consultants IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute and CE Delft.

Figure: NOx emissions from international shipping in the Baltic Sea, the North Sea and the English Channel 2005–2040 under a) business-as-usual (BAU); b) a NOx emission control area (NECA), and; c) a NOx levy and fund system.

Figure: NOx emissions from international shipping in the Baltic Sea, the North Sea and the English Channel 2005–2040 under a) business-as-usual (BAU); b) a NOx emission control area (NECA), and; c) a NOx levy and fund system.

Hong Kong to join mainland China’s fuel emissions plan

National scheme for control areas excluded special administrative region, but local government looks to opt in from 2019

Ships plying the Pearl River Delta, including Hong Kong waters, will have to use cleaner fuel as a part of one of three new national emissions control areas, beginning 2019, the Post has learned.

This follows calls by experts and industry insiders to extend the city’s mandatory fuel switch-at-berth regulation one step further to cover its waters, falling in line with new mainland measures.

The mainland’s Ministry of Transport drew up three emissions control areas – the Pearl River Delta, Yangtze River Delta and the Bohai Economic Rim – in December.

Under that plan, all marine vessels will have to switch to low sulphur fuel while in Chinese waters, regardless of whether they are berthed, unlike Hong Kong’s current law, which is limited to berthed ships. The emissions control areas (ECAs) are pencilled to take effect in January 2019.

The ministry’s edict excludes Hong Kong and Macau from the ECA, but a spokesman for the Environmental Protection Department last night confirmed Hong Kong would be part of it.

“Hong Kong … will collaborate with the relevant mainland authorities to put the ECA in place,” a spokesman told the Post.

Simon Ng Ka-wing, chief research officer at public policy think tank Civic Exchange welcomed the move, as the discrepancy between Hong Kong and the mainland means ships entering Hong Kong can burn cheaper and dirtier fuel until they berth.

“If the cost difference is big enough, ships will switch back to burning a cheaper fuel for the one to two hours until they get to a berth in Hong Kong,” said Ng.

But he questioned how and if the city would comply with emissions targets set by the ministry under “one country, two systems”.

Hong Kong’s fuel-switch law, which came into effect exactly one year ago today, requires ocean-going vessels calling at the city to switch to fuels with less than 0.5 per cent sulphur at berth. About a tenth of all port calls were already doing so voluntarily -before in came into effect.

Similar measures will go in place in Shenzhen this year.

Ng suggested Hong Kong consider pushing the bar further for the region by requiring a stricter fuel target of 0.1 per cent sulphur – a standard that emissions control areas in the US and Europe have.

Arthur Bowring, managing director of the Shipowners Association, supported tighter fuel standards. He said: “It makes no sense for ships to have to change to a distillate fuel when entering Chinese waters, be able to switch back to dirtier fuel when in Hong Kong waters, and then to switch back to distillate after passing through Hong Kong.

“Hong Kong needs to have its legislation ready so that it is able to bring it into force when the requirement enters into force in [the Pearl River Delta].”

Bowring backed a tighter 0.1 per cent fuel requirement but hoped the supply of those fuels at Asian ports would improve. The department said tightening the standard was “impracticable” due the lack of regional availability.

Since the 1990s shipping, along with power generation, has been the largest contributor of toxic sulphur dioxide emissions in Hong Kong.

The department said data showed sulphur concentrations in Kwai Chung, Tsuen Wan and Sham Shui Po were “30 to 50 per cent lower” in the last 11 months than they were in the preceding period.
________________________________________
Source URL: http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/health-environment/article/1983720/hong-kong-join-mainland-chinas-fuel-emissions-plan

Hong Kong eyes shipping boost from China’s new silk road, Iran

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-shipping-hongkong-idUSKCN0YW1OI

Hong Kong’s crucial shipping trade is hoping China’s overseas infrastructure plan and closer business ties with Iran will enable the city to tackle the downturn in the seaborne sector and tougher competition, officials said.

The global container sector, which transports everything from bananas to iPhones, as well as the dry bulk shipping market hauling commodities including iron ore and coal, is struggling with a glut of ships, a faltering global economy and weaker consumer demand – pressuring freight companies as well as ports that handle the volumes.

Hong Kong, one of the world’s biggest container ports, expects to benefit from China’s new silk road initiative aimed at developing trade and transport links across Asia and beyond.

“You have a lot of building materials that will need to be transported. That will have demand for shipping,” said Jenny Koo with the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC).

“For Hong Kong, our priority markets will be Asia and the Middle East,” she told Reuters during Greece’s Posidonia shipping week in Athens.

The plan to build land, sea and air routes also known as the “One Belt, One Road” was announced by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013 with the aim of boosting trade by $2.5 trillion in the next decade. As China’s economic growth slows, Beijing is encouraging its companies to win new markets overseas.

“There are a lot of new projects especially in the context that there is the ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative being pushed out,” David Cheng, of the Hong Kong Maritime and Port Board, said separately.

“We have a very strong shipping cluster and we have to attract more people in the industry to make Hong Kong as one of their operating bases.”

Hong Kong handled over 20 million TEUs (20-foot equivalent container units) last year.

The HKTDC’s Koo said global container throughput via Hong Kong was estimated to grow this year by 4.1 percent and intra-Asia trade by 4.4 percent.

Trading and logistics account for 23 percent of Hong Kong’s gross domestic product and the city is targeting more shipping trade with Middle Eastern countries including Iran after international sanctions on Tehran were lifted earlier this year.

Hong Kong officials said freight activity with Iran was expected to include multiple areas such as food products and consumer goods.

“A lot of people have been dealing with Iran through third parties,” said Stephen Wong of the HKTDC. “Now that sanctions are taken away, Hong Kong will benefit … I’m sure that the trade will grow.”

Fuelling a low-emission target

Download (PDF, 287KB)

The world’s largest cruise ship and its supersized pollution problem

As Harmony of the Seas sets sail from Southampton docks on Sunday she will leave behind a trail of pollution – a toxic problem that is growing as the cruise industry and its ships get ever bigger

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/may/21/the-worlds-largest-cruise-ship-and-its-supersized-pollution-problem

At full power the Harmony of the Seas’ two 16-cylinder engines would each burn 1,377 US gallons an hour of some of the most polluting diesel fuel in the world. Photograph: Peter Nicholls/Reuters

At full power the Harmony of the Seas’ two 16-cylinder engines would each burn 1,377 US gallons an hour of some of the most polluting diesel fuel in the world. Photograph: Peter Nicholls/Reuters

This article is the subject of a legal complaint made on behalf of Royal Caribbean International

When the gargantuan Harmony of the Seas slips out of Southampton docks on Sunday afternoon on its first commercial voyage, the 16-deck-high floating city will switch off its auxiliary engines, fire up its three giant diesels and head to the open sea.

But while the 6,780 passengers and 2,100 crew on the largest cruise ship in the world wave goodbye to England, many people left behind in Southampton say they will be glad to see it go. They complain that air pollution from such nautical behemoths is getting worse every year as cruising becomes the fastest growing sector of the mass tourism industry and as ships get bigger and bigger.

The Harmony, owned by Royal Caribbean, has two four-storey high 16-cylinder Wärtsilä engines which would, at full power, each burn 1,377 US gallons of fuel an hour, or about 66,000 gallons a day of some of the most polluting diesel fuel in the world.

In port, and close to US and some European coasts, the Harmony must burn low sulphur fuel or use abatement technologies. But, says Colin MacQueen, who lives around 400 yards from the docks and is a member of new environment group Southampton Clean Air, the fumes from cruise liners and bulk cargo ships are “definitely” contributing to Southampton’s highly polluted air.

“We can smell, see and taste it. These ships are like blocks of flats. Sometimes there are five or more in the docks at the same time. The wind blows their pollution directly into the city and as far we can tell, there is no monitoring of their pollution. We are pushing for them to use shore power but they have resisted.”

“The liners pollute, but the road traffic that they and the cargo ships generate is also huge,” he adds.

Royal Caribbean, the US owners of the Harmony of the Seas, said that the latest and most efficient pollution control systems were used and that the ship met all legal requirements.

Industry body Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) added that companies had “invested significantly over the last decade to develop new technologies to help reduce air emissions”.

But marine pollution analysts in Germany and Brussels said that such a large ship would probably burn at least 150 tonnes of fuel a day, and emit more sulphur than several million cars, more NO2 gas than all the traffic passing through a medium-sized town and more particulate emissions than thousands of London buses.

According to leading independent German pollution analyst Axel Friedrich, a single large cruise ship will emit over five tonnes of NOX emissions, and 450kg of ultra fine particles a day.

Bill Hemmings, marine expert at Brussels-based Transport and Environment group said: “These ships burn as much fuel as whole towns. They use a lot more power than container ships and even when they burn low sulphur fuel, it’s 100 times worse than road diesel.”

“Air pollution from international shipping accounts for around 50,000 premature deaths per year in Europe alone, at an annual cost to society of more than €58bn [ $65bn],” says the group on its website.

emmission-cruise-ship

Daniel Rieger, a transport officer at German environment group Nabu, said: “Cruise companies create a picture of being a bright, clean and environmentally friendly tourism sector. But the opposite is true. One cruise ship emits as many air pollutants as five million cars going the same distance because these ships use heavy fuel that on land would have to be disposed of as hazardous waste.”

Nabu has measured pollution in large German ports and found high concentrations of pollutants. “Heavy fuel oil can contain 3,500 times more sulphur than diesel that is used for land traffic vehicles. Ships do not have exhaust abatement technologies like particulate filters that are standard on passenger cars and lorries,” says Rieger.

Southampton, which has Britain’s second largest container port and is Europe’s busiest cruise terminal, is one of nine UK cities cited by the World Health Organisation as breaching air quality guidelines even though it has little manufacturing.

“Up to five large liners a day can be berthed in the docks at the same time, all running engines 24/7, said Chris Hinds, vice chair of the Southampton docks watchdog group WDCF. “Pollution from the port is leading to asthma and chest diseases. We are now seeing more, bigger liners but also very large bulk cargo ships.”

According to CLIA, the cruise ship industry is now one of the fastest growing sectors in the mass tourism market, with 24 million passengers expected to sail in 2016, compared to 15 million in 2006 and just 1.4 million in 1980.

“The industry shows no signs of slowing down. It generated $119.9bn (£83bn) in total output worldwide in 2015, supporting 939,232 full-time equivalent jobs,” said a spokesman.

“The luxury sector is seeing the most amazing growth that it has ever seen in its history,” said Larry Pimentel, president of Azamara club cruises.

• This article was amended on 23 May 2016. An earlier version said the Harmony of the Seas had three 16-cylinder engines which, if running at full power, would burn 96,000 US gallons of fuel a day. It has two such engines which together would burn about 66,000 US gallons of fuel a day if running at full power, and is understood to have four 12 cylinder engines. The article also said the ship must burn low-sulphur fuel in port and close to some coasts; it can also use abatement technologies to meet emissions guidelines.

Massive cruise liners ‘each spew out as much sulphurous emissions gas per day as 376 MILLION cars’

Download (PDF, 620KB)

Vietnam PM Gives Green Light to Ship Pollution Plan

http://shipandbunker.com/news/apac/396489-vietnam-pm-gives-green-light-to-ship-pollution-plan

Vietnam’s ​​​Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has approved a national plan aimed at controlling the environmental impacts of shipping through the enhancement of environmental inspections at the country’s ports, as well as an increase in officials and civil servants’ capacities in the state’s maritime management agencies, local media reports.

With the goal of fully implementing regulations outlined in the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO’s) MARPOL Annexes III, IV, V and VI of the L, the plan will see relevant agencies conduct a review, beginning this year 2016 and running until 2020, of legal documents regarding the prevention of pollution linked to shipping, as well as the appropriate management of discharge from maritime activities.

Further, the plan will facilitate regular vessel inspections that align with regulations contained in Annexes III, IV, V and VI – a process that is said to be intended to fulfill the country’s responsibility in relation to ships registered out of Vietnam – and will work to enhance Vietnamese officials’ capacity in dealing with maritime accidents.

The plan also expresses the intention to increase Vietnam’s cooperation with relevant international organisations and other countries within the region, improving information exchange, technical assistance, personnel training, and technology transfer relating to the implementation of the IMO regulations.

Until 2030, a study will be conducted under the plan to examine viable investment mechanisms and policies for waste collection systems to be used at sea ports, as well as effective and regulation compliant equipment to monitor sewage and garbage discharged by ships.

In March, an inauguration ceremony was held for Vietnam’s international seaport at Cam Ranh Bay, marking the completion of its first phase of construction as part of a national push to transform the port into one of the country’s top deep water ports, and a regional hub for maritime service, including bunkering.

Surprise! The Air Near Major Ports Is Bad for Kids

http://www.newsweek.com/surprise-air-near-major-ports-bad-kids-460773

Air pollution is an insidious thing. The particulate matter that streams out of tailpipes and power plants contains an extensive list of contaminants—everything from carcinogens to endocrine-disrupting compounds—in addition to the tiny specks of soot we’ve come to associate with the higher rates of asthma and other respiratory disorders seen in populations that live near major highways or industrial facilities. Basically, every part of it is bad for you, and researchers just found two more toxins to add to the list: nickel and vanadium.

According to as-yet-unpublished research that is being presented Tuesday at the American Thoracic Society’s 2016 international conference, the nickel and vanadium found in the exceptionally fine-grained class of air pollution called PM2.5 damages children’s developing lungs. And in Southern California, where the research was conducted, these toxins mainly appear in the air pollution that comes from shipping vessels.

Because their diameter is so small (2.5 microns, or 1/120th the width of a strand of human hair), PM2.5 particles are known to make their way down into the farthest reaches of the lungs and even slip into the bloodstream. Previous research has shown that when a woman is exposed to PM2.5 in pregnancy, the particles can reach her fetus, whose lungs may grow fewer alveoli, the grape-like clusters in which air is taken and oxygen is separated and diffused to the blood. Her baby, then, may be born with diminished lung capacity, or a greater proclivity toward asthma. (Also, because evidence suggests that lungs continue to develop until we’re about 25 years old, air pollution may work to stunt alveoli development the entire time.)

For this latest research, Robert Urman, a researcher from the University of Southern California, and his co-authors assessed health records from 1,911 elementary school children from various communities in Southern California. Among them, the highest levels of nickel and vanadium in the air were found in Long Beach, California, where cargo chips and other vessels burn fuel oil while leaving and entering the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, which combined is the largest seaport in the United States.

“When we analyzed the data, we found that teenaged children in the most polluted communities had an estimated decrease of approximately four percent in their lung function compared to similar children in the least polluted communities,” Urman said in a statement.

A large-scale study last year found that when air pollution is reduced, children’s lung function improves significantly in the surrounding community. “The National Ambient Air Quality Standards currently regulate PM2.5 mass as a whole,” Urman says, but he adds that more research is needed to understand what components of air pollution are particularly bad for children’s lungs, so risk assessments and regulations can be tailored to target them. “If we could establish a link between these components and health-related outcomes, then more targeted regulations could be enacted to better protect the health of the general population.”