The Chinese Environmental Protection Ministry is planning to introduce a new regulation to control pollution from boats and ships, boosting efforts to minimise air pollution in the country.
Currently, the ministry is seeking public feedback on the proposed regulation as, if passed, it would the first of its kind to exclusively target the shipping sector.
Ministry official Xiong Yuehui said the new regulation also includes provisions for marine fuel oil usage, and will help reduce pollution in coastal cities, riverside cities and port cities.
In 2013, according to estimations, China’s shipping sector accounted for 8.4% of the country’s sulphur dioxide emissions and 11.3% of nitric oxide.
Yuehui added that China had some 172,600 vessels with a net deadweight of 244 million tonnes as of 2013. The country also possesses eight of the world’s ten largest ports based on cargo-handling capacity.
The shipping sector is currently being regulated on the discharge of water and solid waste from ships.
The Chinese Government is also targeting emissions from volatile organic chemicals processed during the ship building process, through a regulation on industrial waste.
Supporting this effort, China adopted a revised environmental law last year to enforce heavier punishments for polluters.
Meanwhile, a recent study has revealed that the China’s greenhouse gas emissions will probably peak in 2025, five years earlier than its stated target, The Guardian reported.
The study suggested that the county will discharge 12.5 to 14 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide-equivalent in 2025.
Image: A China Shipping Line cargo carrier ship. Photo: courtesy of Keith Skipper / CC BY-SA 2.0.