March 26, 2010 15:30 ET

Canada Joins Forces With the U.S. and France to Reduce Air Pollution from Ships

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 26, 2010) - The Government of Canada today welcomed the International Maritime Organization's decision to adopt the North American Emission Control Area proposed by Canada and the United States with the support of France. Canada will now act to implement this important measure to help reduce air pollution from ships.

"Our government is collaborating actively and successfully with the United States and France to help reduce emissions from the marine sector," said Canada's Transport Minister John Baird. "This new initiative is another example of our commitment to our shared environment."

"Canada and its international partners are taking significant, progressive and decisive action to protect the environment," said the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs. "Our shared goal is to have uniform environmental standards that control and reduce pollution generated by shipping activity."

Large ships within the North American Emission Control Area, covering waters of Canada, the United States and France (Saint-Pierre and Miquelon), south of 60 degrees North, extending 200 nautical miles offshore, will be subject to environmental standards that will prevent air pollution. The new measures are expected to dramatically reduce both nitrogen and sulphur oxide emissions, as well as emissions of fine particles from exhaust. Enforcement within the North American Emission Control Area will begin in 2012.

"These new stringent emission standards will protect the environment and the health of Canadians," said the Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of the Environment. "An emission control area will contribute substantially to reducing ship-source pollution." 

Yesterday, Canada joined three annexes of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL). This enables Canada to be a full partner with the United States and France to create an emission control area. Joining these MARPOL annexes means that Canada can enforce international standards to reduce pollution from sewage and garbage, and air emissions from ships.

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Contact Information

  • James Kusie
    Director of Issues Management and Parliamentary Affairs
    Office of Canada’s Transport Minister
    John Baird, Ottawa
    Media Relations
    Transport Canada, Ottawa
    Eve Cardinal
    Press Secretary
    Office of Foreign Affairs Minister
    Lawrence Cannon, Ottawa
    Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
    Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, Ottawa
    Frederic Baril
    Press Secretary
    Office of Minister of the Environment
    Jim Prentice, Gatineau
    Media Relations
    Environment Canada, Gatineau