Sulphur will be cut drastically from global shipping transport fuels in 2020

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  • 02 Jan 2020
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Shipping Fuel Regulation to Cut Sulphur Levels Comes Into Force

Sulphur will be cut drastically from global shipping transport fuels in 2020, in a move that should reduce some forms of air pollution and may help towards tackling the climate emergency - but which could also lead to a rise in the price of flights. Ships will only be allowed to use fuel oil with a very low sulphur content, under rules brought in by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). This cut in sulphur content has been more than a decade in the planning, and almost all shipping around the world is expected to comply, or face penalties. The new regulations are aimed at cleaning up sulphur emissions, which can cause acid rain and other forms of air pollution, rather than tackling the climate emergency. However, the dirty forms of fuel that contain high levels of sulphur are usually higher carbon too, and the costs of cleaning up sulphur may spur shipping companies to become more efficient in their fuel use, which would cut greenhouse gas emissions directly.

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