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Could chip fat help dirty shipping clean up its act?

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Image caption Chip fat and other vegetable oils can be turned into fuel for cargo ships

The global shipping industry is as big a contributor to greenhouse gas emissions as aviation. And the heavy fuel oil that powers its giant vessels is exceptionally dirty – packed with soot, black carbon and sulphur. So is it doing enough to clean up its act?

Shipping is facing a big problem.

In little more than a year from now it will have to conform to new international regulations on toxic sulphur dioxide emissions.

But there’s little consensus on how this should be done, with many companies dragging their feet as a result.

Sulphur dioxide belched out by ships when the fuel is burned is harmful to people and can cause environmentally damaging acid rain.

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