Our website uses cookies so that we can provide a better service. Continue to use the site as normal if you're happy with this, or find out how to manage cookies.

Greenwich Ship Emissions Monitoring

The PLA has installed a number of continuous air pollution monitors near Greenwich Ship Tier recording which will allow us to assess the impact of short-term, local river activity on air quality in the area, including cruise visits to the area. This project is in partnership with Breathe London, RB Greenwich and LB Tower Hamlets.

As part of the Air Quality Strategy for the tidal Thames, real time monitoring had been planned for 2020 in hotspots across the river.  Due to local concerns on the impact on air quality of visiting cruise vessels at Greenwich Ship Tier, the PLA accelerated this timetable and installed an air quality monitoring network around the mooring to access the impacts of cruise vessels berthing on local air quality in 2019. The live data can be view here.

The analysis of the monitoring results between May to September 2019 have concluded the following:

  • No exceedance in the National Objective for the daily (24 hour) PM10 mean
  • No exceedance in the National Objective for the hourly NO2 mean at any monitoring sites, except at Greenwich Pier. It is considered that, rather than cruise vessels, the strong influence of other river activities at Greenwich Pier was the reason for the hourly NO2 mean exceeding the National Standard for approximately 1.5% of the entire monitoring period; of this, 0.17% occurred when a cruise vessel was mooring at GST.
  • As part of its commitment to Net Zero, the PLA is actively exploring options for cleaner berth operations when vessels are in the Port of London. We are seeking technical, operational and investment business partners to work with to establish the port’s first zero emission berth. Our target date for the berth to be operational is 2025, subject to availability of suitable technology and finance, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic impact on port trade. See how the launch of the Sustainable innovation Fund can help to achieve that.

View the full Q2-Q3 2019 data report here.

The summary of the monitoring results in 2020 are as follows:

  • There was no cruise activity at Greenwich Ship Tier in 2020 due to COVID-19.
  • National Objectives for NO2, PM10, PM2.5, and SO2, were met in 2020 between January and December for all seven monitoring stations around Greenwich Ship Tier.
  • In general, there was a reduction in the number of exceedances compared to 2019, especially at Greenwich Pier, and it is likely linked to the reduction in river activities and the background pollution level around Greenwich.

The PLA will keep in place and maintain the network of air quality monitors around Greenwich to continue monitoring until June 2022, at which point the extend of monitoring and the results will be further analysed and reviewed.

Page updated 1/2/2022