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News, opinions, photos and facts from Ocean Conservancy

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Saving Lives by Reducing Emissions

Posted On October 27, 2016 by

Arctic scene

Credit: Jupiter Unlimited

Greetings from London! Just hours ago, I was lucky enough to witness the International Maritime Organization (IMO) make a pivotal decision that will drastically decrease harmful sulphur oxide (SOx) emissions from global shipping.

The Marine Environmental Protection committee of the IMO just decided that a 0.5 global sulphur cap on fuels used by the shipping industry will enter into effect in 2020. By decreasing SOx emissions from the shipping industry by 85 percent, more than 200,000 premature deaths from diseases like lung cancer and heart disease will be prevented. The sulphur cap will also significantly decrease the shipping industries’ share of world air pollution.

We will now turn our attention to ensuring implementation and enforcement of these regulations. Tonight, however, we will celebrate this pivotal decision and toast the hundreds of thousands of lives saved by this measure.

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Regulation of Shipping in the Warming Arctic is a Hot Topic

Posted On April 11, 2014 by

With 90 percent of the world’s trade being transported across our ocean, it was only a matter of time before the receding sea ice in the Arctic Ocean captured the interest of the shipping industry. Shipping goods through the Northern Sea Route across the Russian Arctic coast, along the fabled Northwest Passage of the Canadian and U.S. Arctic coasts, or straight across the North Pole could save time and money. But at what cost? The Arctic Ocean is far from a safe place for vessels, and the inevitable accidents in this remote and rapidly changing region could devastate the fragile ecosystem. Fortunately, the International Maritime Organization, a specialized agency of the United Nations that regulates global shipping, is developing a mandatory ‘Polar Code’ designed to minimize impacts of the anticipated Arctic shipping boom.

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