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The port of Rotterdam is by far the most polluting seaport in Europe. That is what the European environmental organization Transport & Environment (T&E) states on the basis of new research.

Shipping in the port, the largest in Europe, is responsible for an annual carbon emission of 13.7 million tons.

According to the research, the emissions linked to shipping in Rotterdam are comparable to roughly four times the CO2 emissions of a coal-fired power station. In second place is the port of Antwerp (7.4 million tons), followed by the port of Hamburg (4.7 million tons). Amsterdam is in tenth place with 2.1 million tons.

The study looks at the CO2 emissions from shipping around the seaports; emissions from industry around the ports (such as from power stations and oil refineries) have not been considered.

Impact ports on climate

The environmental organization wants to use the research to stimulate the debate about the impact of ports on the climate.

According to T&E, the ports themselves can do more to become more sustainable, for example by offering ‘green’ shore power. Ships can thus ‘plug’ into the electricity grid ashore and switch off the engines.

Last April, the European Parliament decided that European shipping may no longer emit greenhouse gases by 2050. This year, shipping companies will have to pay for the greenhouse gases they emit.

Reported by NOS.

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