Photo by flckr / tillwe
Although the original shipping emissions standards established in the MARPOL treaty went into effect in 2005, they were written in 1997, and getting the more stringent 2008 revisions past the onerous IMO regulatory process was a battle that exhausted the few environmental groups that even engaged in the first place. Furthermore, the rules still do not address CO2 or other global warming risks, and some observers fear it is now too late to make a push to change the rules again.
Continue reading No Safe Harbor: The Shipping Industry’s Pollution Problem Part II: A Lack of Authority
An oil tanker in the process of taking on fuel, or bunkering.
Bunker fuel is a waste product of traditional fuel oil processing, a cross between a solid and a liquid that is too thick for road vehicles and small ships to burn efficiently. Its high sulfur content and the difficulty of installing the proper technology to use it make bunker fuel a cheap source of power for larger ships and power plants.
Continue reading What is Bunker fuel?
The shipping industry is an invisible and nearly unregulated environmental disaster, and if you haven’t heard much about its poor record, you’re not alone. Compared to power plants, cars and even commercial aviation, shipping has drawn little scrutiny ? it gets few mentions in the media, and activist groups tend to focus their attention elsewhere. Seen as little more than an expensive tourist option or a humdrum conveyor of goods, the modern sea vessel is a mystery to the average person, either a love boat or a floating tractor trailer. If there were no pirates or seasick honeymooners, the shipping industry would barely register in the public consciousness.
Continue reading No Safe Harbor: The Shipping Industry’s Pollution Problem Part I: Low-Hanging Fruit