Mediterranean ECA bid needs Spain’s support

Ship emissions An NGO-led initiative to establish an Emission Control Area in the Mediterranean Sea is calling for the Spanish government's support. Credit: gard

Barcelona City Council has backed an initiative to establish an Emission Control Area (ECA) in the Mediterranean Sea (Med-ECA) to limit air pollution produced by ships and is urging the Spanish Government to support the cause.

Alianza Mar Blava, Transport & Environment, Ecologistas en Acción of Catalonia and Plataforma por la Calidad del Aire have congratulated Barcelona City Council for subscribing to the initiative led by the CleanCruiseNetwork alliance.

The initiative calls for the Spanish Government to actively support the creation, as soon as possible, of a Med-ECA covering all major air pollutants, such as sulphur and nitrogen oxides, but also particles and black carbon, to support efforts in this direction initiated by France and other coastal states of the Mediterranean.

EU coordination

Spain is also being asked to coordinate with the European Commission, with France and the rest of member states of the European Union (EU), as well as with non-EU coastal states, to ensure the creation of said Mediterranean ECA and, subsequently, once created, to support the implementation of a cooperative cross-border management of the same.

Additionally, it is being asked to urgently implement the relevant measures in the Ports of the State to ensure the reduction of emissions from ships, forcing them, once they are docked, to connect to the electricity grid for daily operation, among other measures.

The establishment of a regulatory framework for ECAs in the North Sea, the Baltic Sea and the English Channel has led to immediate improvements in air quality of up to 50% since 2015 and associated socio-economic benefits valued in billions of euros.

By Rebecca Jeffrey

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