Oceana is working both domestically and with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) on raising awareness for shipping emissions impact on climate change, as well as to create regulations on shipping emissions.
Oceana is also working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the shipping industry by petitioning the government to regulate shipping emissions.
Working with Earthjustice, Friends of the Earth and the Center for Biological Diversity, Oceana petitioned the EPA to regulate shipping emissions in October 2007.
Unfortunately, since the EPA did not respond accordingly, in July 2008 Oceana, along with the coalition of environmental groups and attorneys general from various states, filed a letter warning the EPA of impeding litigation if it does not respond to the petition.
Oceana has the following recommendations:
- Shipping fleets should implement operational and technical measures to reduce global warming pollution immediately. Such measures include speed reductions, weather routing, fuel switching and specialized hull coatings.
- Fleets should begin to implement longer-term measures to reduce global warming pollution, such as fuel efficient design of new ships and engines created specifically for slow steaming.
- The U.S. EPA should find that the carbon dioxide, black carbon, nitrogen oxides and nitrous oxide emissions from ships significantly contribute to climate change and ocean acidification and therefore pose a threat to public health and welfare.
- The U.S. EPA should regulate global warming pollutants from ships operating within the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone. This can be done by setting emission standards and by requiring specific operational procedures, such as speed restrictions.
- The IMO should set international emission standards to reduce global warming pollutants from the shipping industry. Policies should be applied to all ships regardless of flag state. Such policies should not be subject to consensus approval and voting should be utilized to speed up this outcome.