"Ship Pollution Is Rising As The U.S. Waits For World Leaders To Act"

"Biden is pushing for countries to adopt a zero-emissions goal for shipping by 2050. But environmentalists want action at home."

"When the first American-made lake freighter built in more than 35 years launched in Sturgeon Bay, Wis., last year, the 639-foot ship was outfitted for the future. The M/V Mark W. Barker’s larger hatch openings and spacious flat-bottomed hold meant that, unlike most freighters transporting iron ore and limestone on this route, it could hold unusual cargo — in particular, wind turbine blades.

But for all its modern updates, this ship won’t tap renewable energy from the large-scale wind farms planned for America’s coasts. It sails on diesel oil, the same fuel that powers most ships on the nation’s waterways.

This contrast between a fossil-fuel powered freighter and its next-generation future cargo is the new normal for the shipping industry, a major source of greenhouse gas emissions that is proving hard to clean up. As sales of electric cars increase and renewable energy proliferates, only a few shippers have begun to try zero-emission fuels and wind-propulsion technology. Efforts to cut carbon emissions through international regulations have met resistance from shipbuilders, oil companies and countries aligned with the handful of major shippers dominating the industry."

Anna Phillips reports for the Washington Post June 6, 2022.

Source: Washington Post, 06/07/2022