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Global Green Laws
GGL #6

Global standards set for "no spill" oil tanker construction.

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About GGL #6

While the world insists on consuming oil as a means to an "ill-end", the GGL puts forward an important proposal, which should ensure that disasters from super-tanker oil spills become a thing of the past.

Here are some reports from Looking-Glass Global News

  • Sea Otters in the area where a massive oil disaster occured in 1989 are still being seriously effected 16 years on. The Exon Valdez spilled 42 million litres of crued oil into the Prince William Sound, Alaska in March of that year. By September 1,000 dead otters where found in the spill area. Now, recent and ongoing research has shown that animals born after the spill continue to be adversly affected. Mortality patterns show that animals are experiencing long term negative chronic effects from the spill with decreasing survival rates.
  • Europe's worst environmental coastal disaster spillage has continued to pollute sea, coastline and destroy wildlife where an oil tanker broke up and sank 70 km south of the French Brittany coast in Christmas 1999. The tanker Erika, chartered by French oil giant TotalFina, spilled around half its 25,000-tonne cargo of oil when it broke up in stormy seas. The resulting pollution devastated 400 km (250 miles) of coastline and has so far killed or maimed 300,000 sea birds.
  • In November 2002 the tanker Prestige split in two and sank off the North West Coast of Spain. It contained 70,000 metric tons of oil and almost doubled the damage caused by the Exxon Valdez.
    More than 300,000 seabirds where killed, some of these rare species such as the Balearic Sheerwater (Puffinus mauretannicus).
    For months after, multiple oil slicks reached the coast of Spain and Southern France, and years later oil has continued to cause environmental havoc along the affected coasts. Even 4,000 Scottish seabirds died following the Prestige disaster. These are puffins who flew south to breed in areas off Spain where the oils slicks continued to spread along the northern coastline.

The reason why so much oil is released from tankers during a hull breach is due to their poor design. More than 50% of tankers transporting oil around the world at the moment have a single skinned hull structure. Only a few millimeters thickness of metal hull stands between the oil inside and the ocean; so if the hull cracks, oil leaks directly into the sea. Duel hull tankers are now being built with a mixed degree of safety measures. There are designs on the drawing board that describe dual hull tankers with a series of individual inner cells. These inner cells would hold the oil. If a hull breach were to occur in a tanker based on this improved design, the inner hull and the cells holding the oil would stand far more chance of remaining intact.

Below are the deadlines that world governments have already drawn up for the phasing out of single-hulled tankers

2005: Tankers built before 1980 are now barred from Europe
2007: Tankers built in 1973 or earlier are supposed to be withdrawn worldwide
2015: Single-hulled vessels to be completely phased-out

All these phases are or have been too too slow in the uptake and do not specify an international standard of high-safety inner-cell designs. Analysts also believe that mounting international pressure to speed up the phasing-out process of single-hulled tankers is unlikely to be acted on.

What you are voting for...

The GGL proposes that all new oil tanker constructions are designed to a global standard using safer inner cell structures and that high spill risk tankers be scrapped immediately.

Your voting options

Vote Here for this GGL#6

Read more about the Global Green Laws concept here


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