Reducing pollution in the Mediterranean with a low emissions zone

The City Council has given its support to a manifesto calling on the Spanish government to declare a low emissions zone in the western Mediterranean to reduce the environmental impact of shipping. The manifesto is being promoted by the ecology organisations Aliança Mar Blava, Ecologistas en Acción, Plataforma de la Qualitat de l’Aire and Transport and Environment.

04/12/2018 17:59 h

Mireia Alonso

The creation of a low emissions zone would oblige ships to use more sustainable fuels, helping to cut harmful gases such as nitrogen oxide and sulphur. Regulations have already been successfully put into operation in maritime environments such as the North Sea, the Baltic Sea and the English Channel, with immediate improvements in air quality detected.

Pollution from shipping not only affects marine ecosystems and the coastline, but also has a direct impact on the health of inhabitants living in coastal cities. Cutting air pollution generated by fuels used by ships would mean a change in the maritime sector and needs to lead to a model which is healthier, more sustainable and more respectful to the environment.

France and the European Commission have already actively backed the measure, but the refusal from the previous Spanish government paralysed its application. The ecology entities behind the manifesto, with the support of the municipal government, are calling on the current government to rectify and support the creation of a low emissions zone.

The support for the manifesto comes within the context of the stragtegic plan for the city’s coastline, a new approach for Barcelona’s seafront so that people can enjoy a quality coastline.

 

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