Under the Chairmanship of Dott. Paolo d’Amico the Environmental Committee met last week in Piraeus for its 14th meeting.

A dominant issue in the discussion was the completion of the administrative details of the Environmental Challenge, due to be launched in November at the Hong Kong Council meeting.

One key decision was to include air pollution in the Challenge owing to the increasing significance of this issue. Further discussion on air pollution focused on the growing interest in emission trading and its applicability to the shipping and tanker sectors. The Committee noted that this was a subject that should be carefully monitored over the next 12 - 18 months and that it would be worthwhile assessing the potential benefits to tanker owners entering any of the currently proposed schemes.

The Committee also discussed the current progress being made at IMO on the ballast water Convention and agreed that it was important to support the IMO in its efforts to meet the proposed 2003 deadline for the completion of the Convention. This would involve a focus on the current draft text of the Convention and ensuring any shortcomings were cleared up at the next Marine Environment Protection Committee meeting in October.

In addition to covering the other issues on the Committee agenda, including anti-fouling coatings and reception facilities, the Committee also agreed to have a further consultation on ship recycling with Greenpeace in response to their request made at the Rotterdam Tanker Event.

Contact: Tim Wilkins on e-mail tim.wilkins@intertanko.com