Starting in January 2016, China will introduce tough emissions controls for ships entering three key port areas in order to reduce sulfur dioxide. Sulfur dioxide results in acid rain, which causes respiratory challenges and sometimes premature death. If the controls are implemented strictly, they will ensure that oil suppliers augment the use of cleaner marine fuel. The rule will affect ships entering the port areas of Pearl River Delta, Yangtze River Delta, and the Bohai Bay rim. According to China's Ministry of Transportation, the goal is to cut sulfur dioxide by 65% by 2020 from the 2015 level. Ships that enter the concerned ports will need to use bunker fuel with a maximum sulfur dioxide content of 0.5%. Current levels of sulfur dioxide in China’s shipping sector are currently estimated at 1-2%. Individual ports will be responsible for enforcement at the onset and the controls will be toughened in both 2017 and 2019. Exemptions to the rule include fishing, sports, and military vessels. Similar measures have been taken up in Hong Kong and the Shenzhen port. The International Maritime Organization plans to introduce a global cap on ship emissions in 2020 or 2025. For the full story, see