The mayor calls for a ban on the stopovers of the largest boats during pollution peaks.
“In Marseille, we breathe in pollution and we see it.” Mayor Benoît Payan launched an online petition on Tuesday against maritime pollution in his city, and more widely in the Mediterranean. It calls on public authorities to limit emissions from ships in port cities.
“A zone of lawlessness”
The mayor of Marseille denounces too flexible regulations concerning the emission of pollutants in the Mediterranean Sea, one of the “most polluted in the world”. In fact, there is no specific rule concerning the emission of sulfur from boats. However, this is the case for other navigable areas, which makes Benoît Payan say that the Mediterranean Sea is a “lawless zone”.
The city councilor demands “strict and ambitious” standards and the change of international rules. He appeals to the authorities to protect the sea but also the inhabitants of the coast, in Marseille and all around the Mediterranean. As the International Maritime Organization (IMO) prepares to examine regulations to limit the emission of suffering, he asks that the latter “accelerate its decision”.
“It is high time to act”
Among the list of requests requested by the request, we also find the multiplication of “checks on ships cruising in the harbor of Marseille”, “the implementation of a ban on stopovers for the most polluting ships during pollution peaks ” or even an “agreement on emissions of nitrogen oxides” and the “urgent” establishment of an atmospheric emission control area (ECA), as is the case in the North Sea or at sea Baltic, for example. In these sea areas, vessel controls are stricter.
Last February, 25 mayors from around the Mediterranean, on the initiative of Benoît Payan, signed a column published in the newspaper The world to call for the creation of an air pollutant emission control zone.
While the country is currently experiencing an exceptional heat wave, the Bouches-du-Rhône are not spared. High temperatures contribute to the concentration of ozone in the air, which has caused a spike in pollution in Marseille in recent days.