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Emissions endanger public health, incentives required: UNEP

Emissions endanger public health, incentives required: UNEP
Countering the shipping industry's claims to be the most environmental friendly form of transport, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) executive director Achim Steiner claimed that shipping emissions were a serious risk to public health at the IMO’s World Maritime Day symposium.

Steiner told the audience that “You know better than anyone that there are many areas in which the response is possible, technologically feasible, and with the right incentives, also acceptable to those who earn their living in shipping.”


“Shipping today is estimated to emit 0.96 gigatons of C02… these are projected to increase to between 1.11 and 1.4 gigatons by 2020 and up to 3.5 gigatons by the year 2050,” said Steiner.


Steiner emphasised that a reduction in emissions was essential for public health as well as for reducing global warming. “70% of ship emissions occur within 400 miles of coastlines. A Hong Kong emission inventory indicated that marine navigation was responsible for almost 40% of the total emission of particles - which are referred to as EM 10 - measured in the city.


“The World Health Organisation estimates that every year Black Carbon emissions and pollution is responsible for 6 million premature deaths.”


“It is the incentives for the sector as a whole to rise to this challenge that will determine whether we can actually achieve the kinds of emissions reductions that the world is looking for.”