Port environmental activities include a wide array of protection and prevention programs

By R. Bruce Striegler

Increasingly, ports across the world are taking on the issues of environmental stewardship and looking at sustainability as key to their futures. Port of Prince Rupert became the first west coast port to join the Green Marine environmental program in 2010. Green Marine is a joint Canada-U.S. initiative aimed at advancing environmental excellence in the marine industry, throughout North America. The certification program emphasizes voluntary improvement of environmental performance in key areas identified by the marine industry which include water and land pollution prevention – cargo residues and oily waters, to control greenhouse gases and other air pollutants. The program takes into account community impacts such as noise, dust, light and odours as well as controlling aquatic invasive species. Participants evaluate their performance against guidelines and criteria provided by Green Marine; the results are published annually and verified by an independent third party.

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OPINION – Carbon math explained! Is Canada making a serious effort to meet its obligations?

By Theo van de Kletersteeg

The other day I stumbled across an article in The Economist that represented the first comprehensive, and yet simple explanation of the relationship between carbon in the atmosphere, and global warming.

Scientists and green supporters have explained to us during the past decade or so that global temperature increases must be kept well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, if we wish to avoid the more egregious consequences of climate change. Accordingly, the 2015 Paris Agreement requires that signatories to the Agreement implement programmes to reduce national carbon emissions to levels that are thought to result in global temperatures to be kept in check, and to “pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C”, compared to the 0.9°C temperature rise that has taken place since 1870.

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Doing more with less: Intensity of U.S. energy use in manufacturing continues its decline

The energy intensity of U.S. manufacturing continued to decrease, according to data released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Manufacturing Energy Consumption Survey (MECS). From 2010 to 2014, manufacturing fuel consumption rose 4.7 per cent, while real gross output increased at 9.6 per cent—or more than twice that rate—resulting in a 4.4 per cent decrease in energy intensity.

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Implementation of shore power for cruise ships, wintering vessels reduces greenhouse gas emissions

Cruise ships that sail to Montreal and vessels that winter in the port can now connect to shore power as part of an $11-million project that is expected to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2,800 tonnes per year.

In the first green initiative of its kind in Quebec, the Montreal Port Authority (MPA) completed its two-pronged shore power project in August. In Phase 1, the MPA set up four power supply stations at Berths 25, 27, 29 and M2 for vessels that winter at the port. In Phase 2, it introduced shower power for cruise ships as part of the modernization of Alexandra Pier and the new cruise terminal.

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MPA earns top marks in Green Marine’s 2016 Performance Report

The Montreal Port Authority (MPA) earned the highest average among 36 member port authorities throughout North America in Green Marine’s 2016 Performance Report.

Green Marine is the voluntary environmental certification program for the North American marine industry. The MPA is a founding member of initiative.

The self-evaluation covered the period from January 1 to December 31, 2016. The MPA achieved top marks in all but one of the performance categories in 2016, thereby continuing its tradition of staying in the top tier of port authorities contributing to sustainable development. It earned a score of 5 (excellence and leadership), the highest ranking possible, in the areas of greenhouse gases and air pollutants; spill prevention; community impacts; and environmental leadership.

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Finland: breaking ice and leading international scientific cooperation in the Arctic

K. Joseph Spears

In true “can do” Finnish fashion, Finland combined celebrating the hundredth anniversary of its independence and its chairmanship of the Arctic Council by organizing an international arctic research expedition (Arctic 100) to increase international cooperation and strengthen understanding of the Arctic region. The Arctic 100 expedition was conducted from the Finnish icebreaker MSV Nordica. Nordica sailed through the Northwest Passage this past summer departing Vancouver on July 5, steaming 10,000 nautical miles and arriving in Nuuk, Greenland on July 29, 2017, 24 days later. It broke the record for the fastest Northwest Passage crossing by one day.

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A warming Arctic – Canada’s need for Marine Response

K. Joseph Spears

The summer of 2017 has seen the Arctic continuing to warm with sea-ice diminishing by both extent and volume. The last decade has seen a constant Arctic warming trend that has resulted in increased global interest in the region and increased marine activities which bring with it increased marine risks. The Arctic is a region that has very little marine infrastructure and organic marine response capability. This past year, the Finnish ice breaker Nordica departed from Vancouver on July 4 to make the earliest eastbound transit through the Northwest Passage arriving in Nuuk, Greenland on July 29. The year 2016 saw the non-ice-strengthened cruise ship Crystal Serenity making history, completing a successful and well-publicized NW Passage transit. The vessel will be doing the same again this year to a sold-out capacity of 1,000 passengers with the assistance of escort vessel RRS Earnest Shackleton. The future is here: Increasing international marine traffic in our Arctic waters presents challenges to Canada’s ability to manage its ocean space, and challenges existing Canadian marine response capability, which includes search and rescue (SAR).

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Speed restrictions imposed in Gulf of St. Lawrence – Chamber of Marine Commerce comments

The federal Minister of Transport, Marc Garneau, and Fisheries and Oceans Minister Dominic LeBlanc, announced on August 11 that, in order to help reduce or eliminate deaths of North Atlantic right whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence through collisions or other unintentional contacts with commercial vessels, the government is imposing a temporary mandatory speed reduction for vessels of 20 metres or more in length to a maximum of 10 knots when travelling in the western Gulf of St. Lawrence from the Quebec north shore to just north of Prince Edward Island. These measures are in addition to other measures already taken to reduce the possibility of whales becoming entangled in fishing gear.

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Canadian marine shipping endorses international CO2 reduction targets

Chamber of Marine Commerce (CMC) is endorsing proposed international targets to reduce marine shipping’s carbon emissions per tonne-km by 50 per cent by 2050 in order to match the ambition of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

“Canadian Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway shipowners are committed to environmental protection and fully endorse this proactive global approach to reducing the carbon footprint of marine shipping,” said Bruce Burrows, President of CMC. “Similar to the airline industry, marine shipping is an international business and it is important that we have one global solution to the challenge of climate change.”

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