China Regulates Marine Pollution Too
The Chinese Ministry of Transport has released new guidelines to curb ship and port pollution. By 2020, China hopes to reduce sulfur and nitrogen oxide emissions in the Pearl River Delta, Yangtze River and Bohai Rim by 65, 20 and 40 percent, respectively.
Following implementation, about 90 percent of vessels calling on ports in China will use shore power, and about 50 percent of container and cruise terminals will be capable of providing shore power. China is also developing Emission Control Areas (ECAs) in its major ports.
China ranks in the top tier of countries with health-hazardous air, and a recent study by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) revealed that maritime activity generates about 67 percent of Hong Kong’s sulfurous pollutants. China is home to seven of the world’s ten busiest container ports.
According to the NRDC report, a single cargo ship can emit pollutants equal to about half a million idling commercial trucks.
Because of increasingly stringent regulations outside of Asia, China has already begun the move towards clean fuels. Beginning in January, vessels calling on ports in North America, the U.S. Caribbean, the U.K. North Sea and the Baltic Sea were required to lower sulfur emissions from 10,000 parts per million (ppm) to 1,000 ppm. And by 2016, any vessel in North American coastal waters or the U.S. Caribbean will be required to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by 75 percent.