EEA calls for shipping industry to ‘systematically’ tackle emissions

Air pollutants and greenhouse gases emissions from the shipping sector have increased substantially in the last two decades, according to a report from the European Environment Agency (EEA).

The report suggests that the shipping sector needs an integrated monitoring, reporting and verification system for emissions in European waters to systematically address both types of emissions together.

Air pollutants emitted by shipping can affect air quality in many areas, particularly around ports and busy shipping channels.

It claims that the release of greenhouse gases and air pollutants from international shipping has a complex effect on the climate, with “greenhouse gas emissions have a warming effect, while on the other hand some air pollutants lead to cooling”.

EEA Executive Director, Jacqueline McGlade, said: “This study shows the complex effects different emissions are having on the planet. We need initiatives that protect the environment as an overall system. The choice between either clean air or mitigating climate change is a false dichotomy – Europe needs both.

“By avoiding unnecessary movement of goods and improving transport efficiency, we can address both air pollution and greenhouse gas mitigation together,” she added.

Globally, the combined emissions from ships have a net cooling effect on the climate, according to recent scientific literature.

Leigh Stringer

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