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UK: Clean Air Strategy takes further action on domestic shipping

24 May 2018

The Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) of the UK government is planning to take further action on the country’s domestic shipping sector through a recently introduced Clean Air Strategy draft.

It is currently improving the evidence base with the direction of producing a comprehensive body of data on emissions from all ships operating in UK waters.

Using the comprehensive evidence base on maritime emissions, DEFRA will:

  • By March 2019, consult on options for new domestic regulations to reduce pollutant emissions from domestic ships. This could be through the application of international emission standards.
  • By March 2019, consult on options for extending the current Emissions Control Areas (ECAs) in UK waters.
  • By May 2019, have all major English ports produce Air Quality Strategies setting out their plans to reduce emissions across the port estate including ship and shore activities. These plans will be reviewed periodically to establish if the measures implemented are effective or further government action is required.
  • By summer 2018, introduce a new government- led Clean Maritime Council to bring together different parts of the maritime sector to drive uptake of cleaner technologies and greener fuels.

DEFRA data for 2016 indicated domestic shipping (ships that start and end their journey in the UK) accounted for 11% of the UK’s total domestic nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions, 2% of particulate matter (PM2.5) and 7% of sulphur oxide (SOx) emissions.

It believes international shipping (ships that go to or come from international destinations) emissions to have a “significant” impact on air quality in the UK due to shipping lanes and engine operation while at UK ports.

Published: 25 May, 2018

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