Air quality in Naples suffers from ships’ emissions

Cittadini per l’Aria saw pollution levels of up to 98.000 particles per ccm Cittadini per l’Aria saw pollution levels of up to 98.000 particles per ccm

An environmentalist group, Cittadini per l’Aria, has tested the air quality in Naples and has called Italy to support a Mediterranean Emission Control Area (MedECA).

Cittadini per l’Aria supported by experts from Germany’s Nature and Biodiversity Union (NABU) found air pollution levels to be up to 220 times higher than in areas with clean air. The environmentalists criticised that ships in the Mediterranean are allowed to be operated on dirty heavy fuel oil and without any exhaust gas cleaning systems such as those standard on trucks or even power plants.

Anna Gerometta President at Cittadini per l’Aria said it was irresponsible of ship owners to pollute Naples’ air while visiting the city: “Companies like MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruises, TUI Cruises and the ferry operators make a lot of money, at the same time they reject to spend money on proper exhaust gas technology and therefore accept to put a massive threat to the citizens’ health. We do have a massive air pollution problem here so political action is needed to protect our health, the environment and buildings. The Italian government should immediately support the designation of the Mediterranean Sea a Sulphur and Nitrogen Emission Control Area (SECA and NECA) as Spain and France are already doing. Recent studies show significant improvements for the air quality in the region and socio-economic benefits of up to 2.5 billion Euros for Italy.”

Beate Klünder, transport policy officer with NABU stated: “It is not only Naples that suffers from shipping emissions. We have seen these high concentrations of air pollutants in many different ports cities all over Europe like in Barcelona, Venice, Piraeus, La Valetta and Lisbon. All these countries and especially Italy with its many affected port cities should follow the example of Norway which banned dirty ships to enter their waters by 2026 and will allow only zero emission ships by 2030.”

Dr. Axel Friedrich, expert on air testings: “We saw pollution levels of up to 98.000 particles per ccm when the Mein Schiff Herz arrived in the port at 7 o’clock in the morning even 800 metres away from the port in the city of Naples.

By Jake Frith

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