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For decades, the IMO has rebuffed calls to clean up ship pollution.
As a result, while it has long since been illegal to belch black, sulphur-laden smoke from power-station chimneys or lorry exhausts, shipping has kept its licence to pollute. IMO rules allow ships to burn fuel containing up to 4.5 per cent sulphur.
As ships get bigger, the pollution is getting worse.
The most staggering statistic of all is that just 16 of the world’s largest ships can produce as much lung-clogging sulphur pollution as all the world’s cars.
And, even then, it will depend on a final ‘feasibility review’ in 2018.
But at the IMO, governments successfully argued that ships from developing countries should not have to cut carbon emissions.
Because of their colossal engines, each as heavy as a small ship, these super-vessels use as much fuel as small power stations.