Friends Of The Earth News

27 Apr 2018

Schneider Electric Supports UK Shipping and Port Industry

Image: Schneider Electric

By plugging into the power grid with 100 per cent renewable electricity and turning off their diesel engines, ships at berth in the UK would reduce emissions equivalent to 84,000 to 166,000 diesel buses – or 1.2 million diesel cars representative of the current UK fleet. The pressure is mounting for the UK to align with EU air pollution emission targets, and ships at berth need to cut their fuel consumption and port authorities and terminal operators need to integrate shore power capabilities in a simpler and more efficient way.

16 Apr 2018

Clean Arctic Hails IMO Action on HFO

Photo: HFO-Free Arctic

The Clean Arctic Alliance has applauded progress by International Maritime Organization member states towards banning use of the world’s dirtiest fuel – heavy fuel oil – from Arctic shipping. It also called for Member States to make every effort to adopt and rapidly implement a ban by 2021, as proposed by eight IMO Member States and supported by other countries during the meeting. Plans to develop a ban on heavy fuel oil (HFO) from Arctic shipping, along with an assessment of the impact of such a ban…

22 Jan 2018

Call for Carriage Ban on Non-Compliant Fuel

Photo: International Maritime Organization - IMO Official FB Page

A group of leading environmental and maritime shipping organizations have called for the prohibition of transporting non-compliant marine fuels once the global 0.5 percent sulfur cap takes effect in 2020. The United Nation's International Maritime Organization (IMO) has agreed that from 1st January 2020 the maximum permitted sulphur content of marine fuel (outside Emission Control Areas) will reduce from 3.5% to 0.5%. Unless a ship is using an approved equivalent compliance method, there should be no reason for it to be carrying non-compliant fuels for combustion on board.

01 Dec 2016

Carnival Princess to Pay Record $40 mln for Polluting the Seas

Carnival Corp's Princess Cruise Lines will plead guilty to seven felony charges for polluting the seas and deliberate acts to cover it up, and pay a record $40 million criminal penalty, the U.S. Justice Department said on Thursday. Shares of Carnival, the world's largest cruise operator, were down more than 2 percent at $50.29 in midday trading on the New York Stock Exchange after the announcement. The Caribbean Princess had been making illegal discharges since 2005 using bypass equipment - including a so-called "magic pipe" - to circumvent pollution-prevention equipment that separates oil and monitors oil levels in the ship's water, the department said.

27 Oct 2016

Arctic Indigenous Leaders Meet IMO Secretary-General

Photo: International Maritime Organization

The safety and environmental impact of arctic shipping was on the agenda as International Maritime Organization (IMO)  Secretary-General Kitack Lim received a delegation of arctic indigenous leaders at IMO Headquarters, London (25 October). In the first meeting of its kind, a wide-range of issues surrounding climate change and the subsequent increase in number of ships operating in arctic waters were discussed. Secretary-General Lim outlined IMO’s work in this field, in the form of IMO’s Polar Code, which will enter into force in January 2017.

27 Sep 2016

Britain's First U.S. Shale Gas Arrives in Scotland

Britain's first shale gas delivery from the United States sailed into a heated European political debate on fracking on Tuesday and immediately ran into its first practical problem - the Scottish weather. The huge "Ineos Insight" tanker had entered the Firth of Forth at sunrise, a lone Scots piper playing on its bow, as it headed for the Grangemouth refinery, west of Edinburgh. But gusty squalls prevented it from unloading its controversial cargo before an assembled crowd of dignitaries. "The Insight vessel was unable to dock at the port due to high winds," said a spokesman for Zurich-based chemicals giant Ineos. It would arrive at the port as soon as wind died down, he added. Ship tracking data on Reuters showed the vessel had turned back into deeper waters.

19 Jul 2016

40% Cruise Ships Use Outdated Sewage Treatment Plants

ACO Marine Managing Director Mark Beavis “The FOE report paints a contrasting picture to the environmentally conscientious one offered by the cruise lines themselves”

ACO Marine has welcomed the findings reported in the Friends of the Earth 2016 Cruise Ship Report Card, the annual survey of cruise shipping’s impact on the environment, which highlights a growing need for the sector to update its sewage treatment technology. The annual FOE survey, published in June, documented the environmental footprint of 17 cruise lines and 171 cruise ships, finding that a significant proportion of vessels continue to operate out-dated sewage treatment plant.

15 Jul 2015

'Kayaktivists' Take Shell Arctic Protest Nationwide

Noble Discoverer transits Puget Sound after its departure from the Port of Everett, Wash., June 30. Noble Discoverer was the last of three oil drilling and support vessels to depart western Washington for the Arctic this summer. (USCG photo by Amanda Norcross)

Environmental activists in the U.S. prepare to take their so-called “kayaktivism” nationwide as they urge lawmakers to revoke oil and gas exploration leases in the Chukchi Sea, says environmental group Friends of the Earth. The group’s “Shell No” day on July 18 will gather activists in 13 states and in Washington D.C. as they bring their message to President Obama’s doorstep by staging an Arctic marine scene in Lafayette Park to protest Shell and other companies drilling in the Arctic Ocean.

01 Jul 2015

Shell Steps Closer to Arctic Drilling

Arctic Challenger Photo Greenpeace

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service authorized the nonlethal, incidental, and unintentional take of small numbers of polar bears and Pacific walrus that result from Shell’s exploratory drilling activities in the Chukchi Sea. The agency gave authorization despite finding information gaps regarding walrus and polar bear behavior in offshore environments, the immediate and long-term responses of these animals to drilling operations, and the subsistence hunting activities of several Native villages.

13 Mar 2015

Aleutian Islands Gets Shipping Protection Zone

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) approved protective buffer zones (“Areas to be Avoided”) around Alaska’s Aleutian Islands, approximately 10 years after a shipping disaster occurred off its coasts. In December 2004, the M/V Selendang Ayu foundered off the Aleutians amidst severe weather and was blown to shore, eventually breaking into two pieces and causing more than 300,000 gallons of toxic heavy fuel oil to spill into pristine marine waters and resulted in the deaths of six crew members. Shipping in and around the Aleutian Islands is significant. In 2012, nearly 2,000 individual vessels made more than 4,600 transits through Unimak Pass at the eastern end of the island chain.

17 Feb 2015

Paris Talks to Target Shipping Emissions

Image:  International Maritime Organization (IMO)

194 nations last week agreed at the Geneva Climate Change Talks to a negotiating text which could see international emissions caps placed on the shipping industry by 2020. Shipping is a large and growing source of the greenhouse gas emissions that are causing climate change. More than 190 countries began working on in Geneva last week with the idea of imposing carbon pollution targets on shipping industry has appeared in the lengthy negotiating text. An additional proposal in…

14 Feb 2015

Arctic Shipping Emissions to Increase by 600% in Ten Years

Arctic shipping by The International Chamber of Shipping

The emissions from Arctic shipping traffic could rise 150-600 percent by 2025, the environmental group Friends of the Earth reports. As global warming intensifies and Arctic sea ice melts, marine vessel traffic is expected to increase and amplify the levels of harmful pollution emitted into the atmosphere, a new report by the International Council on Clean Transportation says. These pollutants include carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, and particulate matter, including black carbon. The ICCT report outlines a number of options to mitigate harm from shipping emissions in the U.S.

21 Nov 2014

Environmental Groups: IMO Polar Code Too Weak

Photo: IMO

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) today adopted the Polar Code aimed at regulating shipping in Polar Regions. Several environmental groups have criticized the measures for not going far enough to protect the Arctic and Antarctic environments, arguing that while the new code is a positive step forward, it is insufficient to properly protect Polar environments from the anticipated increased levels of shipping activity. The Polar Code is due to enter into force on January 1…

26 Jun 2014

House GOP Spearheads Bill to Expand Domestic Drilling

Today, the House passed H.R. 4899, The Lowering Gasoline Prices to Fuel an America that Works Act by a vote of 229-185. If enacted the bill would expedite oil and gas leasing on federal lands, open new offshore drilling areas and expand drilling in Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve. This bill is everything Big Oil wants for Christmas. Reviving “Drill Baby Drill” can’t magically lower prices of a global commodity, and any economic gains pale in comparison to the long-term damage climate change threatens to inflict on our economy. Bringing about additional droughts, wildfires and other extreme weather events is no way to save money. Leaving fossil fuels in the ground is the only course of action that respects the seriousness of the climate crisis.

02 Jun 2014

Green Groups See Need To Nudge Obama's 'Opening Bid' On Carbon Cuts

President Barack Obama

In large part, the wide-ranging reaction to President Barack Obama's signature effort to cut power plant carbon emissions could have been written months in advance. Key Republicans and many industrial groups decried it as a job-killing war on coal that would drive up power prices; environmentalists and many Democrats hailed it as a landmark measure making good on Obama's pledge to tackle climate change. Behind the bombast, however, more measured voices found a proposal that was not as severe as critics had feared nor as ambitious as proponents had hoped for.

30 Jan 2014

Environmentalists Critical of Draft IMO Polar Code

Arctic shipping: CCL File Photo

The new draft ‘Polar Code’ of safety and environmental rules, issued on 24, January 2014, fails to address the looming danger of having non ice-strengthened and poorly prepared ships in supposedly ‘ice-free’ polar waters, environmental organisations have warned. The final draft, drawn up by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), governs ships operating in Arctic and Antarctic waters. Increased shipping activity poses significant new threats to the polar environment and wildlife through oil spills, black carbon deposition, sewage discharges and the introduction of invasive species.

24 Aug 2012

Court Orders Alaska to Fix Cruise Ship Discharge Permit

The Superior Court issued an “Order to Compel” to the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation. The court order issued to the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation is for failing to address challenges brought by Campaign to Safeguard America’s Waters and Friends of the Earth to the Cruise Ship Discharge Permit that allows cruise ships to dump their wastewater into Alaska’s waterways. Earthjustice sued on behalf of CSAW and Friends of the Earth because the permit violated key provisions of the State’s pollution law. CSAW and Friends of the Earth won the case in May, 2011, however, ADEC has failed to fix the significant flaws in the permit for more than fourteen months. The Court is now ordering ADEC to act by August 31.

05 Nov 2011

Castrol Calls for Clarity on Polar Lubricants Usage

As Polar shipping movements increase, Castrol Marine suggests that greater attention should be paid to the environmental credentials of lubricants used on board in applications where there is a risk of leakages and discharges. Growing demand for effective shipping routes and cruises to previously inaccessible destinations has led vessels into increasingly sensitive marine areas. Exemplary is the increasing amount of seaborne traffic beginning to move along the Siberian coast. There are also hopes of opening up more of the North West Passage above Canada. The Northern Sea Route voyage is one-third of the distance of traditional routes through the Suez Canal, bringing with it lower fuel costs.

26 Aug 2011

Transport Secretary LaHood Names Maritime Industry Advisory Panel

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood today announced the appointment of 29 members to the new Marine Transportation System National Advisory Council (MTSNAC), established to advise the Department on matters relating to marine transportation. “Shifting some of our freight from the highways to open inland waterways is a fuel-efficient, cost-effective way to move goods and reduce roadway congestion,” said Secretary LaHood. The Department will task the MTSNAC with developing recommendations on establishing new marine highway services and port infrastructure development, among other issues. “The experience brought to bear by this diverse panel is impressive,” said Maritime Administrator David Matsuda. “These maritime experts have a lot to contribute.

02 Jun 2011

Thordon Bearings Shortlisted for Environmental Award

Installing Thordon's seawater lubricated propeller shaft bearing replacing metal bearing and oil

Canadian manufacturer, Thordon Bearings’ seawater lubricated propeller shaft bearings have been shortlisted for the Ocean Environmental Protection Award at the 2011 Sustainable Shipping Awards to be held in London, England, July 7, 2011. There are currently over 2000 ships using Thordon seawater lubricated propeller shaft bearings and that list is growing. Thordon’s bearing system completely eliminates oil from the ship stern tube by using seawater as the lubrication medium and Thordon non-metallic bearings in place of the metal bearings.

12 Oct 2009

Port of Rotterdam Aims for 80% CO2 Reduction

The Port Authority Rotterdam and Friends of the Earth Netherlands want the maritime shipping industry to drastically reduce its CO2 emissions: 30% by 2020 and closer to 80% by 2050, compared to 1990. Friends of the Earth Netherlands and the Port Authority are making this appeal in the run-up to the international environment conference that is to be held in December in Copenhagen. An 80% reduction by 2050 is necessary, according to scientists, if global warming is to be restricted to 2º, the internationally accepted upper limit. Transport by water is more energy efficient than by land or air. In that sense, it is sustainable. Also, according to expectations, more and more goods will be transported by water in the coming decades.

08 May 2008

Biofouling Center Stage

Legislation has been favorably reported out of the Senate Committee in Commerce, Science, and Transportation that would, if enacted, constitute the first official steps by the federal government to come to grips with biofouling of the hulls of ships. The Ballast Water Management Act of 2007 (S. 1578) would, among other things, require the U.S. Coast Guard to conduct a study of vessel-borne vectors (other than ballast water and sediment), specifically including vessel hulls, anchors, and equipment.

08 Nov 2007

Study: Shipping Cited in Pollution-Related Deaths

While the international shipping industry already is under acute pressure to reduce emissions, a new study – which claims that worldwide 60,000 deaths each year are attributable to pollutions from ships – could help to increase public pressure further. The study, published in the American Chemical Society’s publication Environmental Science & Technology (ES&T) (DOI: 10.1021/es071686z) was produced by a team led by James Corbett of the University of Delaware and James Winebrake of the Rochester Institute of Technology, provide some of the first estimates of premature mortality from exposure to particulate matter, nitrogen oxides (NOx), and sulfate in global ship emissions.

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