HELCOM in project to explore ship emissions

Malcolm Latarche

Malcolm Latarche · 12 March 2020


Baltic Sea environmental body, HELCOM has joined the EMERGE project on shipping emissions in EU marine waters and was one of the 18 project partner organisations that attended its kick-off meeting in Laxenburg near Vienna, Austria in late February.

Coordinated by the Finnish Meteorological Institute, EMERGE will quantify and evaluate the effects of potential emission reduction solutions for shipping in Europe, and develop effective strategies and measures to reduce the environmental impacts of shipping.

The four-year EMERGE project, funded by the European Commission, was formed in response to the Horizon 2020 call on Ship emission control scenarios, marine environmental impact and mitigation.

EMERGE will systematically analyse the complex interactions between technological options, pollutant emissions and dispersion, and environment. It will carry out measurements and modelling on actual vessels, along main shipping routes and in sensitive European marine regions.

Measurements will focus on abatement techniques and will include emissions to, and concentrations in water, air and marine biota. EMERGE will especially investigate how effectively available scrubbers reduce the effects of key pollutants.

“Beyond producing data, the project will also develop several scenarios to help identify management options on how to best deal with all sorts of shipping emissions,” said Joni Kaitaranta, the HELCOM data coordinator handling the project at HELCOM. The outcomes of the project are expected to be further considered by the relevant HELCOM working groups.

As a project partner, HELCOM will mainly be involved in the work packages on hosting and publicising spatial data outputs such as emission maps stemming from developed modelling framework and based on different management scenarios. HELCOM will furthermore participate in developing online tools for disseminating the outcomes and associated data to stakeholders, decision-makers and to the general public.

HELCOM has extensive experience in gathering and processing data on the marine environment and maritime activities, notably through its indicator work and its map and data service.

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