International technical workshop "Data, trends, impacts and benefits associated with the creation of an emission control area by vessels in the Mediterranean"

09/06/2018 to 09/07/2018

Air pollution, particularly exposure to fine particles and ozone, is still a major health and environmental issue in some parts of the world, including the Mediterranean basin. Marine traffic contributes to this pollution due to ships' engines that emit sulfur oxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and fine particles. To tackle these pollutions, Annex VI of the MARPOL Convention has been adopted within the framework of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). This Annex introduces emission limits for major air pollutants from ship exhaust emissions. It also allows countries bordering a maritime domain that is particularly sensitive to air pollution to define more ambitious emission thresholds within the areas of emission control of ships, called ECA zones meaning "Emissions Control Areas".

Mediterranean riparian countries are aware of the need to act. In February 2016, the 21 Mediterranean countries, Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean, adopted the Regional Strategy for the Prevention and Response to Marine Pollution from Ships (2016-2021). This strategy envisages the possibility of designating all or part of the Mediterranean Sea as an emission control area of sulfur oxides under Annex VI of the MARPOL Convention.

The establishment of an ECA must be justified by impact assessments at regional level. In 2017, France took the initiative to carry out and finance a study on the possibility of setting up an ECA zone in the Mediterranean, according to the method defined by Annex VI of the MARPOL Convention. This study aims to evaluate the impact of different scenarios for setting up such a zone.

In order to present the methodology and to share the results of this study, an international technical workshop was co-organized by the Ministry of Ecological and Solidarity Transition and Plan Bleu on September 6th and 7th, 2018, in Marseille.



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