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Med Sea ECA to reduce health costs by €14 billion, says report

21 Jan 2019

A reported commissioned by environmental agencies in France has found the creation of an Emission Control Area (ECA) for the Mediterranean Sea to improve regional air quality.

The report Emission Control Area (ECA) for the Mediterranean Sea highlights particulate matter can be reduced by up to 20% and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels by up to 76%; leading to up to €14 billion in reduced health costs and more than 6,000 lives saved every year.

“The study shows the need for a Mediterranean emission control area,” said Charlotte Lepitre, health policy officer at France Nature Environnement (FNE).

“The French environmental ministry must now take its role as a leader and search for support in as much Mediterranean countries as possible.”

“We see that a combined sulphur and nitrogen emission control area will have the greatest effect for the people living in the coastal areas,” noted Beate Klünder, transport policy officer at Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU).

“If governments cooperate well such a regulation could come into effect as early as 2022. Now that there is clear evidence for significant socio-economic benefits there is no excuse to further postpone an implementation.

“Any delay let people suffer longer than necessary and that is not acceptable at all.”

Started in 2017 by Cerema, CITEPA and INERIS, the French study shows the extent of emission reduction for different air pollutants on a country by country level while including more detailed analysis for several coastal cities. It also points out the cost and the health and environmental gains (estimated in euro).

The key finding is that the regions would benefit most from a combined Emission Control Area for sulphur (SECA) and Emission Control Area for nitrogen (NECA).

SO2 would be reduced by 77 % and in port areas even by 100 %. NO2 would decline by up to 76% in coastal areas and the East of the Mediterranean Sea. The annual mean of PM2.5 will go down by 15 to 20%. About 6,000 premature deaths will be avoided due to the reduction of the particle pollution.

The declaration of the Mediterranean Sea as an ECA would bring 8 to 14 billion Euro savings of health costs per year and would cost about 1,67 billion Euro.

Note: The report Emission Control Area (ECA) for the Mediterranean Sea can be downloaded here.

Related: IMO addresses ship-source air pollution in the Mediterranean
RelatedBarcelona joins support for creation of Mediterranean Sea ECA
RelatedMediterranean ECA to be further discussed in December
RelatedMEPC 37: France pushes for ECA in the Mediterranean Sea
RelatedIMO: Mediterranean ECA study underway

Photo credit: France Nature Environnement
Published: 21 January, 2019


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