Thursday, 14 March 2013

Cross channel ferries stink

The cross channel ferry operators are up in arms because they are being asked to do something which will actually help the environment, reduce their sulphur emissions.

Currently they have a licence to pollute: Marine light diesel is only capped at 1% land based diesel is capped at 0.001%. In other words they are allowed to use fuel which pollutes 1000 (one thousand) times more than land based vehicles. Yet they are complaining about the reduction in sulphur content.

A Hong Kong trial with their ferries shows increased costs of 21%. Brittany Ferries are claiming a rise in annual fuel costs of 60%.

Britanny ferries environment page claims that they ‘have a respect for the marine environment that runs deep’ and that they have one of the most modern fleets on the Channel. They boast that their newest ship Armorique is designed to ‘exceed all current and known future regulations concerning emissions’. The same company is now saying they don’t have enough time to invest in the new low sulphur technologies.

P&O ferries boast to the public that the sulphur scrubbing on the Pride of Dover ‘won the top award for marine and atmospheric protection at the Seatrade Awards ceremony.’

They too are proud to display their environmental credentials: ‘Legislation to protect the environment is becoming ever more stringent and of course we embrace this fully.’

But in Parliament they sing a different tune: ‘P&O Ferries cannot support the introduction of 0.1% Sulphur content in marine fuels from 1 January 2015’

So don’t believe all you hear about just how environmentally friendly and responsible our ferry companies are. They don’t always tell the truth.

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