Help Us Sink Plans for London's Toxic Cruise Port
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If current plans for a new toxic cruise port in London go ahead, ships will be allowed to run dirty diesel engines whilst docked near homes and schools - pumping out toxic fumes that can cause permanent damage to children's lungs!
Other major cities make the cruise ships hook up to electric onshore power. We want the same - a clean cruise port - or none at all.
Michael Gove has promised to take action on diesel fumes on the roads, but so far there's little legislation in place when it comes to toxins, particularly nitrogen oxides (NOX) from river traffic, or the port.
Just one medium sized cruise ship moored at the Greenwich site at Enderby Wharf (or 'Maritime View'), will consume about 700 litres of diesel per hour, emitting equivalent levels of nitrogen dioxide and deadly particulate matter as 688 lorries with their engines idling.
Experts claim that pollution leads to 40,000 deaths in the UK every year causing:
- permanent lung damage in children
- issues with dementia and cognition
- untold suffering for people with asthma
- birth defects
- heart attacks and strokes
- chronic and acute bronchitis
Diesel fumes are rated as a level one carcinogen by the World Health Organisation, in the same category as smoking. Yet there are 12 schools within a half mile radius of the site.
Clean onshore power is the common sense solution. It's worked in Hamburg, Oslo, New York and the Port of Los Angeles serving 43 miles of coastline. In fact, since the installation of on shore power in LA, air pollution monitoring has recorded:
- 90% reduction in sulphur emissions
- 85% decrease in diesel particulate matter
- 50% reduction in NOX
This petition was started as a cry for help when Greenwich Council forced through planning permission for Enderby Wharf in 2012, despite vehement opposition from locals. Now, three years later, the #NoToxicCruisePort campaign is supported by politicians from all sides.
AN ISSUE FOR ALL OF US
We’re not a bunch of tree hugging activists with nothing better to do, but ordinary people concerned about the long term health of children, family and friends whose health will suffer if this goes ahead. Not just here but in cities where pollution is already dangerously high, and at ports everywhere, like Southampton, where cruise ships contribute up to 23 per cent of the city's air pollution.
Enderby Wharf is up for sale through agents Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL). Whoever buys it needs to know that unless they install an onshore power supply, the terminal is pure poison. Yes, there will be an extra price tag attached. But compared to the human cost, and the burden it will invariably place on the NHS, it’s well worth it.
The EU has a directive that says that all ports must provide onshore power by 2025. If, as Mr Gove believes, we’ll be better off and greener outside the EU, now is the time to prove it.
WHAT ELSE CAN YOU DO?
Have your say by tweeting @michaelgove, @Royal_Greenwich, @MayorofLondon.
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