At the urging of Friends of the Earth and other environmental groups, the California Air Resources Board took a bold step towards the clean up of vessel air emissions by passing a regulation to phase out the use of dirty bunker fuel. Starting in 2009, the new rule requires ships to burn low-sulfur diesel fuel instead of bunker fuel within 24 nautical miles of California's coast -- significantly reducing particulate matter, sulfur oxide, and nitrogen oxide emissions. The shipping industry consistently opposes any attempt to reduce the dangerous air emissions from vessels which is why California's new rule is vitally necessary and important.
Ship Pollution Accelerates Even With Cleaner Fuels
Read our new submissions to the IMO on air pollution standards for ships:
- New ship pollution numbers show growth will outpace benefits of cleaner fuels
- Dr. James Corbett’s new air pollution estimates are the most accurate yet
- Friends of the Earth advocates for cleaner marine fuels and ship engines
Following two major fuel spills by ocean-going vessels in less than a week, Friends of the Earth-U.S. is calling for a global ban on bunker fuel use in ships. The group has launched a people's petition to the U. S. Congress to end use of bunker fuels in its waters and is appealing to people and organizations in shipping nations and to the International Maritime Organization to do the same.
Radically cleaner marine fuels debated during Norway ship pollution talks
Ships transiting the world’s oceans would abandon dirty bunker fuel and switch to less polluting types of marine diesel within five to 10 years under separate proposals made by green groups and oil tanker lobbyists during a special session of the International Maritime Organization in Norway, November 13 to 17, 2006. Making the switch to cleaner fuels would drastically cut air pollution from ships that causes acid rain and emits harmful particles that can lodge in people's lungs.