Shipping Awaits IMO Sulphur Ruling


The global shipping industry is awaiting today’s announcement on the International Maritime Organisation’s plans to cap global sulphur emissions from shipping.

Amongst the world’s largest emitters of Suplhur Dioxide, the IMO is seeking to impose a cap from 2020 which would sulphur emissions limited to 0.5% of fuel content, from the current 3.5%.

The IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee has been meeting in London from October 24-28, 2016 to decide whether the cap should come into force in either 2020 or 2025. PTI reported recently that the proposed five-year delay to the introduction of the cap could cause an additional 200,000 deaths from respiratory diseases.

It appears the IMO now believes 2020 will give the shipping industry enough time to comply with the new regulations.

The heavy fuel used in shipping can emit up to 3,500 times as much sulphur dioxide as would be allowed for diesel-powered cars in Europe, showing just how important today’s announcement will be in tackling climate change.

The IMO said shipping currently accounts for about 2.2% of global CO2 emissions, yet 13 percent of Sulphur Dioxide emissions and 15 percent of nitrogen oxide emissions.

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