21 May Curbing Deadly Ship Emissions
Should China protect its coastal communities with an international emission control program?
Emissions from ships caused the early deaths of more than 20,000 Chinese people in 2015. China has been taking steps to curb this blight, notably by expanding its domestic emission control areas (DECAs) to cover the country’s entire coastline.
While an important step, this new “national” DECA has room for improvement. The four emission control areas currently managed by the IMO offer good points of reference.
The IMO is the United Nations body responsible for regulating international shipping. Its ECAs have strict limits on the emission of sulfur oxides and nitrogen oxides, and thus reduce the damage of shipping on sensitive human populations and ecosystems.