Shipping industry must regulate to reduce climate change impact and damage to health and environment

Media Advisory
Bluewater Network / Friends of the Earth International

LONDON (UK) July 18, 2005 — Environmental groups said today that the International Maritime Organization (IMO) is failing to protect the environment and human health from global shipping pollution.
The London-based organization which regulates shipping across the world is being called on to take urgent action to protect public health and the environment by reducing toxic pollutants and the emissions causing climate change.
The Bluewater Network, Friends of the Earth International and Coalition for a Safe Environment say the IMO is failing by:
not setting stringent standards for marine fuel quality and ship engine emissions;
allowing shipping companies to evade tighter standards by registering vessels with ‘flags of convenience’ nations; and
allowing these nations to control the IMO process for setting environmental standards.
Ships transport 90% of the world’s consumer goods. Commercial ships produce 30 per cent of the world’s smog-forming, nitrogen oxide emissions and four per cent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions.
ollution from ships is due to rise as shipping cargo volume triple by 2030. As a result, toxic air emissions from ship smokestacks are polluting port communities where local people bear the burden of expanding world trade and cheap goods with higher cancer and asthma rates and degraded quality of life.

Photos available:
Activists dressed as pirates in front of the IMO Headquarters raise the issue of the shipping industry’s environmental piracy.

For more information:
Teri Shore, Bluewater Network (Friends of the Earth US ) + 44 78 10 558 249 (till 20/7 then + 1 415 544 0790 ext. 20)
Jesse Marquez, Coalition for a Safe Environment +44 78 10 558 249 (till 20/7) then + 1 310 704 1265
Eelco Leemans, North See Foundation + 31 6 46 118 649
Niccolo Sarno, Friends of the Earth International + 31 20 622 1369