Shipping industry to cap sulphur in its fuel by 2020

The Guardian reports, 28th October 2016: The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) agreed on Thursday to set a cap on the sulphur content of marine fuels, in a move that campaigners predict will save millions of lives in the coming decades.

At a meeting of the IMO’s environment protection committee shipping officials agreed to cap the sulphur content of marine fuels sold around the world at 0.5% by 2020, finally making good on a 2008 agreement to cap sulphur levels by 2020 or 2025.

Sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions have been linked to premature deaths from lung cancer and heart disease. The current limit on sulphur content for marine fuels is 3,500 times higher than for diesel in European road vehicles, and the shipping sector is by far the biggest emitter of SO2.

The move is expected to slash SO2 emissions in the shipping industry by 85% compared to today’s levels, and according to one study reduce the number of premature deaths by 200,000 every year.

The move was widely welcomed by both industry and environmental campaigners.

Source: The Guardian, 28th October 2016. For further details, see  www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/oct/28/shipping-industry-agrees-to-cap-sulphur-emissions-by-2020


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