LIFE4MEDECA: A wake up call for the Mediterranean
LIFE4MEDECA project aims to inform discussion and support decision making by complementing ongoing efforts to the establishment of an Emission Control Area (ECA) in the Mediterranean.
The main project objectives include:
OBJ.1 Complete the knowledge gathering based on current understanding and studies in synergy with the work being undertaken internationally under the coordination of REMPEC (the Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea)
OBJ.2 Carry out additional socio-economic impact assessments on deep sea shipping, short sea shipping and on other relevant activities such as fishing, tourism and others as well as, on biodiversity. Identify needs, bottlenecks and barriers to the designation of an ECA.
OBJ.3 Develop MEDECAs scenarios and quantifying costs and additional benefits to explore and assess different realistic regulatory steps in terms of geographical scope, air pollutants and date of entry into force
OBJ.4 Establish a diverse ‘reference’ group of stakeholders, and to engage them in targeted consultations to gather relevant additional knowledge, to identify further needs, to facilitate transfer of best practices and to dialog with and across industry. In addition, to assess possible cost impact mitigation including through EU funding opportunities.
OBJ.5 Provide expertise for technical and legal capacity building, as well as, for financial support of the perspective MEDECA Countries
The negotiations to stablish MEDECA are ongoing and will be reviewed in December 2021, at the 22nd governmental meeting of the Countries that signed the Barcelona Convention and, at a later stage, at the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
The Emission Control Area (ECA) will cover the entire Mediterranean basin, including all EU and non-EU Mediterranean Countries.
The LIFE4MEDECA team is composed of eight co-beneficiaries from Italy, Spain, Denmark, Germany and Israel (Factsheet). Under the leadership of the Network Port Authority of the North Tyrrhenian Sea (ADSPMTS), each organization is specialized in one or more of the specific fields to be prioritized.
The co-financing bodies are the EU Commission, and the competent Ministries of France, Italy, Spain and The Netherlands, whose experts form LIFE4MEDECA’s Advisory Board. Additionally, the team will include more than 50 worldwide experts who accepted to be part of the Stakeholders’ Group (STG)
- Co-beneficiaries: ADSPMTS, 3D4EU, CIMNE, CNR, GTD, ISL, MDI, UNIMAR
- Co-financing: EASME_LIFE; EMSA, France, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain
- Institutional Stakeholders: SDG4MED, Fundacion Philippe Cousteau, K. Delli
The IMO and the EU jointly set uniform rules to address shipping emissions. This resulted in the establishment of ECAs in the North Sea and Baltic Sea with stricter Sulphur limits which entered into force on 1st January 2015 and substantially reduced air pollution from ships. Similar positive impact resulted in the in US, Canada and China by local emission control regimes. However, the case of the Mediterranean is very challenging: MEDECA would be the world largest with its 480 million inhabitants (650 in 2050), three continents (Europe, Asia and Africa) and 22 involved Countries.
Maritime shipping is a major source of pollution (SOx, PM, NOx), impacting human health in coastal areas and ecosystems (sea, land). As a result, several studies showed that the expected health benefits of the establishment of an ECA will outweigh the costs to the maritime sector on average, by a factor of 7 in 2030 and by a factor of 12 in 2050.
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The LIFE4MEDECA project is co-financed by the LIFE Program of the European Union