Emission Control Areas (ECAs) around Europe should be expanded, both in terms of area and the inclusion of nitrogen oxides (NOx), and incentives should also be considered to reduce NOx emissions from the existing fleet of ships. This is one of several recommendations by a recent report from the European Panel of Sustainable Development (EPSD) – a network of universities and other research organisations.
The report is said to provide science-based knowledge on various aspects linked to sustainable shipping, such as emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases, ship wrecks, ship recycling, and intermodal transport.
Support for further development of marine particle filters, remote monitoring of exhaust gas emissions, and continuous emissions monitoring systems is also recommended.
Regarding emissions of greenhouse gases, the report concludes that “in the absence of any truly effective IMO regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from ships, unilateral regulatory action within the EU should be considered”, and that such action could be in the form of a cap-and-trade system for maritime transport emissions, an emissions tax with hypothecated revenues, a mandatory efficiency limit for ships in EU ports or a baseline and credit system based on an efficiency index.
The report: Targeting the Environmental Sustainability of European Shipping: The Need for Innovation in Policy and Technology (May 2014). EPSD report no 6.