More recently, however, the focus of the industry and its regulators – encouraged by far greater awareness of the importance of environmental issues amongst all stakeholders – has also been on the wider potential impacts which shipping can have on the environment. In particular, there was awareness of the need to address the impact on local ecosystems of foreign microorganisms imported in ships’ ballast water; the danger to public health and the environment caused by atmospheric pollution from ships (in particular air pollutants such as sulphur and nitrogen oxides and particulate matter); and the need to reduce shipping’s CO2 emissions in order to contribute to worldwide efforts to stem climate change. While further possibilities remain with respect to developing, improving and refining existing technical, operational and management measures which might help reduce even more the traditional sources of marine pollution, it is probably the need to reduce atmospheric and CO2 emissions which presents the most obvious challenges and opportunities with regard to the transition towards a green economy. That said, recently agreed requirements to dramatically reduce sulphur emissions have also created opportunities for the development of new exhaust scrubbing technologies as a (legally permitted) alternative to the use of low sulphur fuels.
From collection: Green Economy in a Blue World - Full Report