Stop massive cruise ships belching toxic fumes near homes and schools #NoToxicPort

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Bimala Chesshyre
Bimala Chesshyre signed this petition

We won the battle 

Not because the government introduced new legislation to control toxic emissions on the Thames or at ports around the UK. We won because Morgan Stanley decided to do the decent thing and withdraw planning for the cruise terminal at Enderby Wharf.

We didn't win the war against pollution on the water

The fight against toxic emissions from cruise ships is still ongoing. We can only hope that once the Brexit furore is over the government will sit up and take notice.

To read about the campaign in its entirety here is the original petition:

If a new toxic cruise port in London goes ahead, ships will be allowed to pump out toxic fumes from diesel engines - causing permanent damage to children's lungs - near homes and schools!

Other major cities make the cruise ships plug into an power supply onshore. We're campaigning for the same - A CLEAN CRUISE PORT - with onshore power - 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
  • cancer

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, 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. 

Also look out for updates on the NoToxicPort website and on twitter.