“The pollution levels achieved in port cities today are no longer acceptable”. The town hall of Marseille launched an online petition on Tuesday July 19, 2022 so that the most polluting ships can no longer stop in the second city of France during pollution peaks, reports theAFP. “The Mediterranean is one of the most polluted seas in the world. It’s a no-go zone.”indicates the municipality in the preamble of this petition which it invites to sign on its website.
“While discussions are underway at the international level to regulate the levels of emissions from boats, we, Marseillais, demand that the international rules change and be much more protective of our seas and our cities”adds the town hall, which is asking for “strict and ambitious standards” in order to protect health.
Prohibition of stopovers during pollution peaks?
The municipality particularly wants the regional prefect to prepare “the implementation of a ban on stopovers for the most polluting ships during pollution peaks”. Due to the current scorching temperatures, the department of Bouches-du-Rhône has recorded high ozone concentrations for several days. This forms when emissions from fossil fuels and other human-made pollutants, such as cars, react to the presence of sunlight.
The prefecture has also set up differentiated traffic in the city center of Marseille since Monday and until further notice: only light vehicles with a Crit’Air sticker ranging from 0 to 3 can circulate. “Restrictions on road traffic and the establishment of Low Emission Zones (ZFE) are necessary, but in port cities, they are not sufficient”adds the town hall of Marseille on its website.
In the second city of France, emissions of nitrogen oxides of maritime origin – 20% of which are due to cruise ships – exceeded road emissions for the first time in 2018, according to the organization AtmoSud.