Prevention and control of shipping and port air emissions in China

China’s largely unregulated ports and shipping system generate significant air pollution that imposes a huge health and environmental burden and contributes to the country’s over 1 million pollution-related deaths each year, according to a new report released by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). China is now home to seven of the globe’s top ten busiest ports and does not require that container ships meet the same air quality standards administered by many other ports around the world. Consequently, one container ship operating along the coast of China emits as much diesel pollution as 500,000 new Chinese trucks in a single day. NRDC’s analysis, The Prevention and Control of Shipping and Port Air Emissions in China, outlines near- and long-term pollution reduction strategies to address the human health toll China pays for its shipping emissions. A recent study estimates 1.2 million premature deaths in China in 2010 were caused by ambient air pollution. Since Chinese port cities are some of the most densely populated in the world and about 30 percent of the world’s containers pass through these ports, air pollution from ships and port activities likely contributes to much higher public health risks in China than in other port regions.

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