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General News of Thursday, 7 February 2019

Source: Miriam Osei-Agyemang

Carbon dioxide emission from ships to increase to about 205% by 2050 if no action is taken – GMA boss

Kwame Owusu, Director General of the Ghana Maritime Authority

It is estimated that ships energy consumption and carbon dioxide emission could be reduced by up to 75 percent by applying operational measures and implementing available technologies.

This according to Deputy Minister for Transport, Honourable Daniel Nii Kwartei Glover can only be achieved if maritime nations in the sub-region work together to create awareness on the deteriorating effect of ship energy pollution and brainstorm on methods of improving energy efficiency in the maritime sector.

He was speaking at the Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre for the African Region national Workshop under the theme “MTCC Africa, MARPOL Annex VI and debate on African Ports.

The 2-day workshop organized in partnership with the Ghana Maritime Authority, seek amongst others to discuss ways vessels can use energy more efficiently, role of stakeholders in maritime nations in the implementation of the provisions of the MARPOL Annex VI and domestication of maritime conventions approved by the International Maritime Organization. The workshop brought together major government and private stakeholders in the maritime industry such as the Gulf of Guinea Maritime (GoGmi), a ‘think -tank’ for maritime strategic thinkers, practitioners and allies.

MARPOL Annex VI

Adopted by the 1997 Conference of the Parties of the MARPOL Convention, MARPOL Annex VI sets out regulations for the Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships. MARPOL Annex VI regulates the emission to the atmosphere of specified pollutants from ships, including nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulphur oxides (SOx), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and heavy metals, and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). These substances cause acidification/acid rain (NOx, SOx), oxygen depletion of inland and some coastal waters (NOx) and further deplete the ozone layer when emitted into the atmosphere.

Under the revised MARPOL Annex VI, the global sulphur cap will be reduced from current 3.50% to 0.50%, effective from 1 January 2020, subject to a feasibility review.

Ships found not to be in compliance with Annex VI, once it enters into force, may be detained by port state control inspectors. Also, sanctions for violations, most likely fines, may be determined by local law where the violation occurs or the law of the flag state. Potential fines received as a result of the failure to comply with Annex VI will probably not fall within the scope of P&I cover, as they concern operational emissions as opposed to accidental releases of a pollutant.

Nevertheless, any incidents reported will be considered on a case by case basis.

Ghana Maritime Authority

On his part, the Director General of the Ghana Maritime Authority, Kwame Owusu, bemoaned the rising levels of air pollution resulting from exhaust gases emitted from ships, he adding that as global sea trade increases there are concerns that Carbon dioxide emissions from shipping will rise to about 250 percent by 2050 if no action is taken.

He believes the most effective way to mitigate the effect of exhaust gases from ships is to create a regulatory framework for the shipping industry that is fair and effective, universally adopted and globally implemented.

He urged stakeholders in the maritime industry in Ghana to work together to ensure that the ultimate goal of reducing Green House Gas emission from international shipping for a better environment is achieved.