France has presented an impact assessment for an ECA in the Mediterranean Sea. Photo: Flickr.com / Simon Roberts CC BY-SA-ND
Benefits of a Mediterranean emission control area
At an IMO meeting in London in October, France presented its impact assessment of a possible emission control area (ECA) in the Mediterranean Sea. The findings show that a combined ECA which simultaneously addresses both sulphur and nitrogen oxides has the greatest positive effect in terms of reduced air pollution and resulting socio-economic and ecological benefits. Environmentalist groups welcomed the report and renewed their call for the immediate designation of all European waters and particularly the Mediterranean Sea as emission control areas.
Charlotte Lepitre at France Nature Environment (FNE) said: “People in northern Europe are profiting since years from higher standards for marine fuels, improving their air quality. France is taking the lead on Mediterranean countries proposing to catch up and protect the citizens’ health, ecosystems and the cultural heritage. Such a step would also establish a coherent European legal framework that prevents market distortions and guarantees a level playing field.”
Source: FNE and NABU joint press release, 24 October 2018