The UK Chamber, with the support of Karl Turner MP and other cross-party MPs, has secured a debate in the Houses of Parliament on Wednesday June 18 to discuss the huge economic and environmental impact of impending sulphur regulations.
The debate will be the central point of a week intending to show Government what it should be doing to ensure that whilst the environmental goals are met, it is not done in a manner that will damage jobs, businesses and indeed the environment itself.
The Chamber supports the move to reduce sulphur emissions and the introduction of tough new limits from Jan 1, 2015.
There are two ways of doing this: either by using low sulphur fuels, or fitting specialist technology to ships.
A sharp increase in demand for low sulphur fuel will see a massive spike in costs both for shipowners and potentially for ordinary diesel car users – so there is a need to use the new technology instead.
But that technology is only now beginning to work, and could take up to two years to fit properly to all of the ships.
A report by AMEC recently said if the new regulations are implemented before the technology is ready, then 2,000 UK jobs could be lost, thousands more lorries will clog up the roads and 12 million tonnes of additional CO2 will be emitted into the atmosphere unnecessarily.
Reducing sulphur is a job that needs doing, but it needs to be done in a pragmatic way that protects jobs as well as the environment. It is important for the EU to understand the practical realities the shipping industry faces, and give the industry the time needed to comply.
June 13, 2014