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The Fair Winds Charter 2013

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AirClim: Shipping air pollution costs €60 billion per year

From Christer Ågren of Air Pollution & Climate Secretariat:

Total health-related costs in Europe caused by air pollutant emissions from international shipping are expected to increase from €58 billion to €64 billion between 2000 and 2020.

The total health-related costs of air pollution in Europe are calculated to have been more than €800 billion per year at the pollution levels of year 2000. This figure is estimated to decrease to €537 billion in 2020, provided that EU countries reduce their emissions from land-based sources in line with what is needed to achieve the environmental targets of the EU’s 2005 Thematic Strategy on Air Pollution, and provided that the sulphur emission standards for international shipping are complied with.

Air pollution is estimated to have been responsible for around 680,000 premature deaths in the whole of Europe in the year 2000, a figure that is expected to come down to approximately 450,000 in 2020.

Comparing the health impacts from shipping with those from land-based sources shows that in the year 2000 emissions from international shipping were responsible for an estimated seven per cent of the total health damage from air pollution in Europe, and that its share will increase to twelve per cent by 2020.

( by-sa)

The number of annual premature deaths in Europe linked to air pollution from international shipping is estimated to increase from 49,500 to 53,400 between 2000 and 2020.

These figures come from a Danish study1 using the EVA (Economic Value of Air pollution) computer model. The research project aims to map the true costs of damage caused by air pollutant emissions from various sectors. Different scenarios assessing the human health impacts and associated external costs from different emission sectors have been investigated for the years 2000, 2007, 2011 and 2020 (see Table).

Table: Estimated total number of annual premature deaths in Europe caused by different emission sources

2000 2007 2011 2020
All sources 681,100 575,500 572,600 450,000
International shipping 49,500 48,300 46,000 53,400
Int. shipping in the North Sea and Baltic Sea 20,400 16,200 14,100 13,200

Air pollutant emissions from ships operating in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea were responsible for annual health damage in Europe valued at €22 billion at the emission levels of year 2000. By 2020, this figure is expected to come down to €14.1 billion, as a result of implementation of the stricter ship fuel sulphur standards agreed by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in 2008 (see Box).

International ship emission regulations

The International Maritime Organization (IMO), under ANNEX VI of MARPOL 73/78 (the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships), has adopted controls on sulphur in marine fuels.

The global fuel sulphur limit is currently 3.50% and will be lowered to 0.50% by 2020 (or possibly 2025, subject to a review in 2018). In specially designated sulphur emission control areas (SECAs), the current limit is set at 1.00% sulphur. It will be tightened to 0.10% by 2015.

Through the revision of the EU’s sulphur-in-fuels directive (2012/33/EU), which was finalised last year, these sulphur standards are part of binding EU legislation.

In Europe there are currently only two existing SECAs: the Baltic Sea and the North Sea (including the English Channel). Most of the coastal waters – within 200 nautical miles of the coast – of the USA and Canada have been designated as “combined” ECAs for both SO2 and NOx.

It should be noted that exhaust gas cleaning systems (e.g. scrubbers) that achieve equivalent sulphur emission reductions may be used as an alternative to low-sulphur fuels to fulfil the sulphur requirements.

However, since these stricter fuel standards apply only in designated Sulphur Emission Control Areas (SECA), and the Baltic Sea and the North Sea so far are the only such areas in Europe, and ship traffic overall is expected to continue to increase, the total health-related costs in Europe of international ship traffic are expected to increase from €58.4 billion in the year 2000 to €64.1 billion in 2020.

In the intermediate years (2007 and 2011), smaller decreases in the health damage from ship pollution occurred as a result of stricter sulphur standards in the SECA area. The subsequent increase up to 2020 results from an overall projected increase in ship traffic worldwide.

It is noted by the authors that a similar study performed by the US Environmental Protection Agency estimated that by 2020 air pollution from shipping would still cause 21,000 annual premature deaths within the USA, with related health costs amounting to USD47–110 billion.

Specifically for Denmark, it is estimated that the total annual health-related air pollution damage amounted to €4.5 billion in year 2000. By 2020, this figure is expected to come down to €2.5 billion.

Air pollutant emissions from international shipping in the Baltic Sea and the North Sea are responsible for health damage in Denmark valued at more than €620 million per year (year 2000), decreasing to €360 million in 2020. The authors conclude that the SECA regulation that limits the sulphur content in ship fuel to a maximum of 0.1 per cent as from 2015, is expected to significantly reduce the external costs, and that “a similar regulation of international ship traffic in the whole world would have a significant positive effect on human health.”

It is however noted that the health impacts from ship emissions in the SECAs will remain significant after 2015. The reason being that the emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) from ship traffic are not regulated by the SECA standard, and in the scenario used, NOx emissions from international shipping are therefore expected to continue to increase more or less in line with the projected increase in shipping activities.

1 Assessment of past, present and future health-cost externalities of air pollution in Europe and the contribution from international ship traffic using the EVA model system (March 2013). By J. Brandt et al. Published in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussion 13, 6 March 2013.

3 Oct 2013

Policy change driven by an AIS-assisted marine emission inventory in Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta


A new exhaust emission inventory of ocean-going vessels (OGVs) was compiled for Hong Kong by using Automatic Identification System (AIS) data for the first time to determine typical main engine load factors, through vessel speed and operation mode characterization. It was found that in 2007, container vessel was the top emitting vessel type, contributing 9,886, 11,480, 1,173, 521 and 1166 tonnes of SO2, NOx, PM10, VOC and CO, respectively, or about 80%-82% of the emissions. The top five, which also included ocean cruise, oil tanker, conventional cargo vessel and dry bulk carrier, accounted for about 98% of emissions. Emission maps, which add a new spatial dimension to the inventory, show the key emission hot spots in Hong Kong and suggest that a significant portion of emissions were emitted at berth. Scientific evidence about the scale and distribution of ship emissions has contributed in raising public awareness and facilitating stakeholder engagement about the issue. Fair Winds Charter, the world’s first industry-led voluntary emissions reduction initiative, is a perfect example of how careful scientific research can be used in public engagement and policy deliberation to help drive voluntary industry actions and then government proposals to control and regulate marine emissions in Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta region.

Marine Vessel Smoke Emissions in Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta

Download PDF: 201209FinalReport_hkust

Background brief on “Mandatory fuel switch at berth for ocean going vessels in Hong Kong waters” prepared by the Legislative Council Secretariat

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Legco backing for cleaner vessel fuel

Legco backing for cleaner vessel fuel


Legislators have expressed support for a proposed law that will require all ocean-going vessels to switch to cleaner fuel (only) while at berth in Hong Kong.

Authorities say this could reduce emissions of sulphur dioxide city-wide by 14-percent. The legislation is expected to take effect in 2015.

Wu Chi-wai of the Democratic Party said it’s a good step forward, but he hopes similar rules can be implemented quickly throughout the Pearl River Delta region.



Environment: Russia delays tougher marine emissions standards –

June 19, 2013 11:49 pm

Environment: Russia delays tougher marine emissions standards

By Don Hoyt Gorman

Stringent new emissions standards for yachts have been delayed after a
surprise intervention by the Russian delegation at a meeting of the
International Maritime Organisation (IMO) – the highest authority on
marine pollution by shipping.

At last month’s meeting the introduction of the toughest restrictions
yet was postponed for five years to 2021. The decision followed
Russian pressure that took the US delegation, who backed the original
plan for introduction in January 2016, by surprise.


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The new standards known as IMO Tier III mean that all ships, including
superyachts, will have to reduce their emissions drastically,
requiring the installation of selective catalytic reduction (SCR)
systems. Yacht builders were concerned that the systems – which are
relatively large and complex – would not fit into the engine rooms of
yachts below the 500 gross ton threshold. Shipyards and designers were
studying redesigns, in some cases eliminating a guest cabin to house
the required exhaust after-treatment system.

In a segment heavily reliant on charter, worries about the potential
loss of 20 per cent of a vessel’s guest capacity, plus the increased
costs of installation and maintenance of new systems prompted industry

The primary lobbying body, the International Council of Marine
Industry Associations (Icomia), conducted an investigation and
presented its argument to the IMO in May. Citing significant economic
impact on a sector of the yachting industry, Icomia asked for a
three-year delay to allow innovations in SCR technology to reduce the
size of the systems.

According to data from the industry resource, the yards most likely to be affected by
the Tier III limits are Azimut, Pershing (Ferretti), Sanlorenzo,
Overmarine, Leopard and Sunseeker. It was not only the boatyards that
faced pressure from the IMO regulations – most smaller high-speed
yachts are powered by the M94 or M93 power plant from the German
engine manufacturer MTU.

But at the meeting of the IMO’s marine environmental protection
committee in London in May, Icomia’s argument – which had been
supported by delegations from the Marshall Islands and the Cook
Islands – was overshadowed by the Russian proposal. Russia’s move
successfully got the IMO to declare the five-year delay in the onset
of the emissions limits for all types of vessel, worldwide.

As a result, yacht builders and engine manufacturers are now likely to
spend this time researching and designing both yachts and engines that
are Tier III compliant.

The US delegation to the IMO is strongly in favour of the Tier III
emission limits, and, by their own admission, did not foresee the
Russian move.

Jeffrey G. Lantz, director of commercial regulations and standards
with the US Coast Guard and head of the US delegation to the IMO,
says: “The US argued to retain the worldwide 2016 timeline. It was
only after the decision … to agree with Russia’s worldwide 2021
proposal that the US proposed keeping the 2016 date for the North
America and Caribbean Sea Emission Control Areas (ECAs), but retaining
the Russia 2021 timeline for yachts under 500 gross tons, as proposed
by the Marshall Islands and Cook Islands.

“The primary reason for the US opposition to a delay … for the North
America ECAs is to improve the air quality from the impact of today’s
marine vessels for the health and welfare of US and Canadian
citizens,” Mr Lantz adds.

“US engine manufacturers have made significant investments and are
prepared to meet the Tier III standards in 2016. Unfortunately, this
proposed delay removes certainty and regulatory predictability, which
is important for their business planning.”

The Russian proposal is expected to be adopted at the next IMO’s
environmental protection committee meeting in spring 2014, and is not
expected to be challenged or overturned.

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The impact of international shipping on European air quality and climate forcing

Download PDF : The impact of international shipping on European air quality and climate forcing

Shipping emissions associated with increased cardiovascular hospitalizations

•Nickel and vanadium in PM10 are indices of shipping air pollution.
•Nickel and vanadium were associated with elevated cardiovascular hospitalizations.
•Nickel appeared to correspond better than vanadium to cardiovascular health.
•Controlling residual oil emissions is important in port cities.


Previous studies have suggested nickel (Ni) and vanadium (V) as the likely constituents that are partially responsible for health effects associated with particulate matter pollution. The authors aimed to examine the effects of Ni and V in PM10, the indices of shipping emissions, on emergency hospitalizations for cardiovascular diseases (CVD) in Hong Kong. Daily PM10 speciation data across six monitoring stations in Hong Kong during 1998–2007 were collected. Generalized additive Poisson models with single-day lags were used to estimate the excess risks of emergency hospital admissions for CVD associated with Ni and V, after adjusted for major PM10 chemical species and criteria gaseous pollutants. The excess risks for inter-quartile range (IQR) increases of Ni and V on the same day and previous six days (lag0 ∼ lag6) were estimated. Ni in PM10 was associated with a 1.25% (95%CI: 0.81–1.68%) increase of total emergency CVD admissions on the same day, while lag0 V was associated with a 0.95% (95%CI: 0.55–1.35%) elevated CVD admissions. The associations were not sensitive to the further adjustment for co-pollutants. Ni appeared to correspond better than V to cardiovascular health. Controlling shipping emissions from residual oil combustion in the port cities like Hong Kong is particularly important.