No More Free Ride: Global Warming Pollution from Ships Must be Regulated
Despite their impact on the global climate, greenhouse gases and other global warming pollution from ships remain unregulated by the U.S. Government. These emissions also have not been limited by the Kyoto Protocol or any other international treaty. However, ships are a major source of global warming pollutants, including carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and black carbon. Consider the following facts:
* Only six countries in the world release more carbon dioxide than the global fleet of marine vessels.
* This fleet releases between 600 and 900 million metric tons of carbon dioxide each year, an amount equivalent to emissions from at least 130 million cars -- about the number of cars operated in the United States.
* A single container ship emits more global warming pollution than 2,000 diesel trucks.
* By 2020, these emissions could double 2002 levels, and they could be triple those levels by 2030.
* Ships also are major releasers of nitrogen oxides — contributing nearly 30% of the world’s releases. This amount too is expected to triple by 2030.
* Another pollutant released by ships, black carbon, or soot, can warm the air hundreds of thousands of times more than the same amount of carbon dioxide. Black carbon may be responsible for as much as 25% of observed global warming.
Global warming pollution from ships is unregulated, but based on its magnitude and climate change impact, action is desperately needed. There should be no more free ride. Working with Earthjustice, Friends of the Earth and the Center for Biological Diversity, Oceana petitioned EPA to regulate these emissions. Ship pollution can be reduced considerably by controlling the operation of marine vessels (including fuel type and vessel speed among other solutions). These actions will help achieve the emissions reductions so desperately needed to protect our oceans and marine ecosystems.