Sustainable Shipping in China through Partnership with NRDC

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Ports in China collectively handle about a third of the cargo shipped worldwide. From garments and bicycles to smartphones and laptops, China will export nearly $2.3 trillion worth of products this year to the U.S. and other countries. The massive ships that leave China’s ports can carry as much as 200 million pounds of cargo each. These ships burn fuel by the tanker-load. One ship can emit as much carbon pollution as half a million trucks.

Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC), a global lobbying group on environmental issues, has been working for the last three years with Shanghai, the world’s largest port city, to cut carbon emissions and make its operations more efficient. These emissions not only contribute to global climate change, but also pose health challenges for the citizens.

In partnership with NRDC, China is now taking action to ensure that its gigantic ships burn less fuel and use engines that pump out lower emissions. They are also working to improve the overall efficiency of the vessels, trucks, and equipment that service the ships and to streamline loading and related operations.

China adopted a new national regulation last year to be introduced in a phased manner so that ships using Shanghai and 10 other largest ports in the country burn fuel that contains less than half percent sulfur – about 80 percent less than the average content of dirtier fuels used now.

In Shanghai, the Maritime Safety Administration (MSA) has already begun enforcing the new standards. Inspectors board ships, verify fuel records, and take fuel samples for testing. Shanghai Municipal Transport Commission officials have taken other steps as well, such using trucks powered by cleaner natural gas to help load supplies; installing electric cranes to replace diesel-powered units; and installing equipment that will provide power to ships in their slips so captains can shut down their engines while vessels are in port.

Jian Du, director of the foreign communications division of the Shanghai Municipal Transport Commission, said that they value the great support from NRDC. This sound partnership has enabled the commission’s staff to develop valuable relationships with officials from the Shanghai MSA and its branches.

In Shanghai and other Chinese ports, devoted officials are working to make sure China’s shipping industry can thrive in a cleaner, more sustainable way. NRDC has a continued commitment to support that effort.

Source and Image: NRDC