China tops the list for highest polluted air posing great risks to health, according to a recent study by NRDC. Nearly, 67% of Hong Kong’s sulphurous pollutants are generated solely by their maritime activity alone. According to the NRDC report, a single cargo ship can emit pollutants equal to about half a million idling commercial trucks.
China owns 7 of the world’s busiest container ship ports and has come under the scanner for their passive response to curb ship and port pollution.
Now the Chinese Ministry of Transport has taken up marine pollution control at war footing. A new set of guidelines to curb ship and port pollution has been released as a first step. The Chinese authorities hope to bring down sulphur and Nitrogen oxide and CO2 emissions in the Pearl River Delta, Yangtze River and Bohai Rim by 65, 20 and 40 %, respectively.
In a progressive move, 90% ships berthing on Chinese ports will use Shore power and more than half of their cruise and container ship terminals will be able to generate shore power. China is now actively developing ECAs at all its major ports.
Worldwide awareness and implementation of stringent rules towards using clean fuels has fuelled countries like China to join in. From January 2015, Ports in North America, North sea of UK and Baltic sea ports, have made it mandatory for vessels calling at their ports to cut down sulphur emissions from 10,000 ppm to 1000 ppm. By 2016, any vessel calling at North American coastal waters of the Caribbean should reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by 75%.