There’s no avoiding the fact that the modern world is utterly dependent onmotorised transport systems that run largely on fossil fuels. Their use inevitablycarries an environmental burden, primarily through the emission of greenhousegases. These emissions are now widely accepted as being significant contributoryfactors towards global warming and climate change.
agency with responsibility for safetyand security at sea and prevention of marine pollution by ships. Since it beganin 1959, the IMO has adopted 50international treaties which include awide range of measures to prevent andcontrol pollution caused by ships and tomitigate the effects of any damage thatmay occur as a result of maritimeoperations.
The International Conventionfor the Prevention of Pollutionfrom Ships
The International Convention for thePrevention of Pollution from Ships,universally known as MARPOL, wasadopted by IMO in 1973 and today,much expanded and updated, remainsthe most important internationalconvention covering the prevention of pollution by ships, whether fromoperational or accidental causes.MARPOL’s six annexes set outregulations dealing with pollution fromships by oil; by noxious liquidsubstances carried in bulk; harmfulsubstances carried by sea in packagedform; sewage, garbage; and theprevention of air pollution from ships.In conjunction with other measures,MARPOL has laid the foundation forsubstantial and continued reductions inpollution from ships despite the massiveincrease in world seaborne trade.The IMO is currently undertaking areview of the existing MARPOL AnnexVI, which sets limits on sulphur oxide
With shipping responsible for transporting more than 90 per cent of the world’strade, Natasha Brown, from the International Maritime Organization, looks atthe industries efforts to limit its pollution and emissions.
The shipping trade
Rail and road transport, aviation andshipping all produce emissions. Thesedifferent modes of transport performdifferent functions, with the primaryfunction of shipping being to transporthuge volumes of cargo, unitised or inbulk, across the world’s oceans. In fact,the shipping industry is responsible forthe carriage of more than 90 per cent of world trade and is arguably the life bloodof the global economy.Without shipping, it would simply notbe possible to conduct intercontinentaltrade, the bulk transport of raw materialsor the import and export of affordablefood and manufactured goods. TheUnited Nations Conference on Trade andDevelopment (UNCTAD) estimates that,over the last four decades, total seabornetrade has more than quadrupled, fromless than six thousand billion tonne-miles in 1965 to over 27 thousandbillion tonne-miles in 2004. Today,world trade continues to grow and theinternational shipping industry hasresponded to the demand for its services.The International Maritime Organisation(IMO) is the United Nations specialised
The average number ofship-source oil spills over700 tonnes has shrunkfrom over 25 annually inthe 1970s to just 3.7 peryear in the 2000s.