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Delay on cleaner ship fuel implementation puts lives at stake

14th Vessel Efficiency & Fuel Management

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The on-time implementation (in 2020) of a global low-sulphur fuel law for ships would prevent 200,000 premature deaths globally, a health study by a group of leading researchers from the United States and Finland reveals.

Oil and gas industry association IPIECA and a group of shipping companies represented by BIMCO, are pushing hard to delay the measure for five years, The Guardian reveals. Later this month the International Marine Organisation (IMO) will decide whether to stick to the 2020 date, which was agreed by acclamation back in 2008. NGOs Seas at Risk and Transport & Environment (T&E), observers at the IMO, condemn any delay in the implementation of the sulphur cap for ship fuel, which would be unacceptable and unjustifiable.

This new research follows two previous global health studies that also concluded that ship air pollution harms human health and cause deaths. Delaying this action for five years would contribute to 200,000 extra premature deaths due to the toxic fumes, mainly in coastal communities in the developing world that barely benefit from global trade. On-time implementation of cleaner ship fuel could avoid 134,650 premature deaths in Asia, 32,100 in Africa and 20,800 in Latin America.

14th Vessel Efficiency & Fuel Management Summit

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