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Parliamentary questions
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11 October 2019
E-003237-19
Question for written answer E-003237-19
to the Commission
Rule 138
Manuel Bompard (GUE/NGL)

 Subject:  Establishment of an emissions control area in the Mediterranean and possible revision of Directive (EU) 2016/802.

The Mediterranean is the number one tourist destination on the planet, with more than 300 million international tourist arrivals per year — approximately 30% of total tourist arrivals worldwide(1). The number is set to grow to 500 million by 2030, according to the UN World Tourism Organisation(2). This heavy tourist traffic results in pollution.

Cruise ships pose a particular problem in this regard. The air pollution that these vessels create causes cancer, heart attacks and lung disease and aggravates the acidification of the soil and the sea.

The annual sulphur oxide (SOx) emissions from cruise ships docking regularly in a city such as Barcelona, Marseille or Venice are between twice and five times the volume of SOx pollution from all the cars in the city(3). In Spain, the annual level of SOx emissions from cruise ships is 50 times higher than that from the country’s 23 million passenger vehicles(4).

Does the Commission intend — in order to tackle this public health problem — to work with the Member States in the International Maritime Organisation on the establishment of an emissions control area in the Mediterranean Sea?

Is the Commission planning to set an example by revising Directive (EU) 2016/802 so as to reduce the sulphur content of marine fuels to 0.001%, the level that applies to diesel used in cars?

(1)Plan bleu (2017), ‘Sustainable Tourism in the Mediterranean: State of Play and Strategic Directions’.
(2)UNWTO (2011), ‘Tourism in the Mediterranean’.
(3)European Federation for Transport and Environment (2019), ‘One Corporation to Pollute Them All’.
(4)Ibid.

Original language of question: FR 
Last updated: 23 October 2019Legal notice