16 Aug 2017 Speech Oceans & seas

Success story: Baltic

The Baltic Sea Marine Environment Protection Commission, HELCOM, is the platform for cooperation that we countries around the Baltic Sea have chosen to coordinate our work for a healthy Baltic Sea. I will introduce to you the case of green shipping in the Baltic.

The Baltic Sea has a heavy traffic of shipping.

Due to the global nature of shipping and the strong mandate of the International Maritime Organisation shipping is rarely addressed systematically at the regional level. In the Baltic Sea we work with the articulation of what IMO offers and in particular the system of special area for emissions control and made these instrumental to the Baltic Sea.  We request IMO to designate the Baltic as a special area and then we work with the private sector and agree on the rules in the Baltic.

  1. Over the last 30 years Oil spills have reduced by 90% (numbers and volumes)
  2. Over the last 10 years Emissions of Sulphur Oxides have reduced by 90%

Last year HELCOM countries submitted a new application to IMO in parallel with a similar proposal from the North Sea countries. We asked IMO to designate the Baltic Sea as a special area for control of Nitrogen Oxides, a NECA area. The IMO will take its decision in May 2017. If the decision is approved from 2021 and on new vessels to reduce their Nitrogen Oxide emission by 80% .

The case shows how a shipping in private – public – partnership can contribute to SDG 14.1 on marine pollution, 3.9 (Human health), 9.4 (clean technology) and 13.2 (Climate Change).

Making shipping green in the Baltic is the result of many years of close and constructive cooperation.

  • Cooperation between the regional and the global IMO level
  • Cooperation between Ministries of transport and environment
  • Cooperation between the public administration, private sector, and civil society
  • Cooperation between actors at sea & land harbors and municipalities
  • Cooperation between expertise different knowledge forms & disciplines

Ahead of us in HELCOM regarding green shipping is to reduce underwater noise and being instrumental for the Ballast Waters Convention and reducing risk for invasive species to enter the Baltic, work on this is going on in close cooperation with OSPAR.


(Speech made by Ms. Laura Piriz)