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A new air quality policy in the Port of London is already paying dividends.

More than 20 ships entering the Thames from all over the world have had their port charges slashed in the past month because they passed low emissions tests.

The 23 vessels include container ships, car carriers, tankers and general cargo ships.

Port of London Authority Chief Executive Robin Mortimer said: “Shipping is a miniscule part of London’s [air quality] problem but that doesn’t mean we can’t do something about it.

“We are the first port in the UK to introduce tariff reduction audited by an independent body.”

Christopher Rodrigues, PLA chairman said: ““Shipping is the most environmentally friendly method of moving large volumes of goods and materials. Nevertheless, more can be done to make shipping even cleaner.

“As ships represent a substantial capital investment, we want to encourage faster adoption of new green technologies by giving an added incentive to adopt cleaner technologies.

“As custodians of the tidal Thames, introducing this discount is one of the first things we are doing to recognise the uptake of new and green technologies. Our overall goal is to reduce the port’s environmental impact and this initiative is the start of that journey.”

The scheme is based on the Environmental Shipping Index which ranks ships’ environmental performance based on factors including emissions of nitrogen oxide, sulphur oxide, and carbon dioxide.

Story dated Feb 15th 2017