Monitoring ship emissions in Greenwich

An £80,000 network of air pollution monitors, funded by the Port of London Authority (PLA), is in place, ready to record the effect of emissions locally from cruise ships docking in Greenwich this summer.

Installed in partnership with Breathe London and the borough councils covering both Greenwich and Tower Hamlets, the eight monitoring stations, all located close to the Greenwich Ship Tier landing stage, will capture data around the clock with the raw data available via the websites of both the PLA and Breathe London. A full analysis of the results will be published in early 2020.

Supplied by Gloucestershire-based Air Monitors Limited, the state-of-the-art technology used in Greenwich mirrors that used in other major studies around the world. Robin Mortimer, PLA chief executive said: “The data these monitors collect will give us a comprehensive understanding of the impact that the cruise ships have on air quality when they are in town.
“It’s crucial to have this information, so that we can address the concerns that we know are very strongly held by local residents.”

The monitors are part of the PLA’s Air Quality Strategy, published in May 2018, the first to be produced by a UK port. Challenging 25-year targets set out in the strategy include halving levels of Nitrogen Oxides and Particular Matter from river-related sources, whilst growing use of the river for carrying both freight and passengers. Measures already implemented include a programme of retrofitting older vessels with the latest environmentally-friendly technology.

In January 2019, the PLA also doubled to ten per cent its Green Tariff discount available to International Maritime Organisation registered vessels with an Environmental Ship Index rating of 30 or more, whose environmental performance goes over and above legal requirements.