This project fits within the Second Scientific Support Plan for a Sustainable Development Policy (SPSD II), Part II “Global Change, Ecosystems and Biodiversity”.
Since several years emission regulations have been drafted with respect to road vehicles resulting in the improvement of their environmental performance at a fast rate. Regulations with regard to emissions from waterborne transport however have been lagging behind for a long time. Nevertheless waterborne transport was and still is considered to be one of the most environmentally friendly modes of transport. This however is being diminished by the fact that ships attribute to an increasing contribution in the total transport emissions.
It is within this respect the International Maritime Organisation adopted an Annex to the existing marine environment pollution convention in order to minimize especially the waterborne emissions from nitrogen oxides and sulphur dioxide.
Emissions are not locally based and since it is worldwide acknowledged that emissions should be treated on an international scale, agreements have been made between the different states with regard to reporting their emissions from different sources and for different pollutants. It is also within this respect that different monitoring programmes or methodologies were drafted. For example one of the most frequently used is the COPERT model for the reporting of emissions resulting from road-vehicles. With respect to the reporting of ship emissions there is no consistent reporting mechanism, methodology nor monitoring programme.
Since Belgium however needs to comply with international and European agreements a monitoring programme is needed. This study focuses on the feasibility of such a monitoring programme and will give an inside in the availability of different datasets and the bottlenecks that can be encountered.
The project combines a general overview of existing information with regard to legislation, monitoring programmes and emission data with the setting up of a new monitoring programme for the estimation of emissions resulting from ships within Belgian jurisdiction. This project will be directly relevant towards the Belgian obligations regarding international agreements and will be accomplished through a sequence of different workpackages (tasks).
In workpackage one the existing information will be evaluated. A brief overview of existing air-legislation on a international, European and national (regional) level will be provided. This is necessary in order to get a clear view on the agreements made and in order to determine whether Belgian can comply with the international or European made agreements. In this first workpackage an overview is also given of the traffic volume, type of ships and their expected emissions. Only ships entering Belgian Sea-ports (Ostend, Seabruges, Antwerp and Ghent) will be considered in this study.
In workpackages 2 and 3 the existing monitoring programme, which currently only focuses on bunker fuel related emissions will be analyzed and bottlenecks will be listed.
In a following workpackage a feasibility study on a new approach will be carried out. This new approach will focus on traffic related datasets. Again bottlenecks that were encountered will be listed and a quality control system will be drafted. Further on, emissions from sea-going vessels in Belgian seas (seashore and continental shelf – ships entering a Belgian Sea-port) will be forecasted for the year 2010 under a well-defined business-as-usual scenario.
Comparing these figures to those of 1990, gives Belgian policy makers inside in the role sea-going vessels could play within the Kyoto Protocol.
The comparison of the two approaches (bunker fuels and traffic related emission models) will also feed policy makers for discussions at international level concerning the allocation of greenhouse gases and other air pollutants from sea-going vessels.