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Shipping accounts for 15% of air pollution in Palma

This is one of the conclusions drawn from the air quality conference, where issues such as the different monitoring techniques, alliances between administrations, initiatives promoted by the APB or the contribution of innovation and renewable energies wer
Palma, 18/07/2022
Environment and CSRPort-cityTechnology and innovation

In recent years, the stakeholders of the Port Authority of the Balearic Islands (APB) have become increasingly concerned about air quality and its possible impact on the activity in the ports it manages, hence today’s conference entitled “Air quality, a priority for our ports”.

During the meeting, experienced speakers addressed the problem and the solution from different perspectives, placing special emphasis on the importance of having sufficient economic and human resources to ensure that the processes of monitoring and controlling air quality are rigorous and accurate, in order to obtain objective, reliable and real data for accountability and strategic decision-making.

Thus, the president of the APB, Francesc Antich, highlighted the major issues concerning the public authority in environmental matters, such as “the fight against climate change and pollution and the defence of biodiversity and natural resources”. Regarding air quality, he said that this is a matter of debate in view of the activity of our ports, as well as other activities such as road traffic.

The APB highlighted the fact that the flagship project in this context deals with the implementation of the cold ironing system in the ports of Palma, Eivissa, Maó and Alcúdia. This will enable ferries to connect to the on-shore power grid while they are moored at the port in order to reduce the emission of gases and noise generated by them during waiting, disembarkation and embarkation operations. This technique is an alternative way for ships to keep machinery idle and therefore eliminate the impact produced by their noise and pollution.

Manuel Vellón, head of the APB’s air quality monitoring system, confirmed that the main pollutants studied are sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter. The air quality sensors in the port of Palma have been providing validated data since September 2019, and results have shown pollution to be below the levels established by current legislation.

Furthermore, the Director General of Energy and Climate Change, Pep Malagrava, presented the collaboration agreement between different institutions on air quality in Palma, in which the APB and AENA and others will participate, “key and essential infrastructures in an island community, following strategies to boost resilience and reduce emissions”.

The Sustainability Observatory was also presented by Fernando Prieto, and the APB’s environmental strategy, by the head of the Quality, Environment, Innovation and CSR Department, Jorge Martín. Finally, the different projects related to this subject that the public authority is carrying out were presented: air quality monitoring, the Eiffel project, Greenhyland and incorporation into the Ecological Transition Cluster.

Transparency and active listening

Through this type of meeting, which is open to the public and the media, the APB is committed to the transparency and active listening of its stakeholders, who are clearly concerned about the quality of the air they breathe. It is also focused on the joint search for solutions through institutional alliances that speed up the achievement of significant improvements, making port cities healthier and more resilient to the effects of climate change.


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