Scrubber lobby: Underhanded EU slyly works to ban trusted technology
The Clean Shipping Alliance 2020 (CSA 2020) has complained about a proposal submitted by the European Commission that urges the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to change its exhaust gas cleaning System (scrubber) guidelines
The Clean Shipping Alliance 2020 (CSA 2020) has complained about a proposal submitted by the European Commission that urges the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to change its exhaust gas cleaning System (scrubber) guidelines.
'This proposal is an attempt by the European Commission to push forward restrictions on scrubbers, which are accepted globally by the IMO, EU and others as acceptable means of improving air emissions quality in controlled areas' said CSA 2020 executive director Ian Adams.
The proposal, which the commission submitted to IMO, calls for 'evaluation and harmonisation' of scrubber discharges across all ports, worldwide. The proposal is intended for consideration by the 74th session of the IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 74) which meets in May.
'Within two weeks of a draft surfacing, the commission had taken the proposal to a one-day Working Party review and then submitted it to IMO,' he said.
'Clearly this was planned to avoid the open discussion and deliberation that a proposal with such far-reaching impact requires.
'In the absence of credible evidence to justify such a major departure from the existing rules, the proposal is instead based mostly on speculation,' said Mr Adams.
'CSA 2020 members, who represent over 30 leading commercial and passenger shipping companies, have been investing for years to prepare their ships in time to meet emissions abatement targets in accordance with existing IMO and EU rules, which endorse the use of open and closed-loop scrubbers in all waters,' he said.
'To see the commission take this step within months of the entry-into-force of the Global ECA is beyond disappointing,' he said.
'The EC initiative is needlessly creating baseless concerns at a time when there are already very real issues in the maritime industry regarding the future availability, suitability and cost of fuels and the effects on global trade and shipping that this will have. There could also be safety implications should ships be required to change fuels in high traffic areas close to ports,' he said.
'I am sure Brussels is very aware that existing scientific data shows significant air emissions improvement from scrubbers, with no likely impact on the ocean environment, but it appears the submission to IMO was prepared with speed rather than accuracy.'