Yes, that is what this article claims and it is another in many strange government actions around the whole issue of global warming.
“We've all noticed it. The filthy black smoke kicked out by funnels on cross-Channel ferries, cruise liners, container ships, oil tankers and even tugboats.
“It looks foul, and leaves a brown haze across ports and shipping lanes. But what hasn’t been clear until now is that it is also a major killer, probably causing thousands of deaths in Britain alone.
“As ships get bigger, the pollution is getting worse. The most staggering statistic of all is that just 16 of the world’s largest ships can produce as much lung-clogging sulphur pollution as all the world’s cars.
“Because of their colossal engines, each as heavy as a small ship, these super-vessels use as much fuel as small power stations.
“But, unlike power stations or cars, they can burn the cheapest, filthiest, high-sulphur fuel: the thick residues left behind in refineries after the lighter liquids have been taken. The stuff nobody on land is allowed to use.
“Thanks to decisions taken in London by the body that polices world shipping, this pollution could kill as many as a million more people in the coming decade – even though a simple change in the rules could stop it.
“There are now an estimated 100,000 ships on the seas, and the fleet is growing fast as goods are ferried in vast quantities from Asian industrial powerhouses to consumers in Europe and North America.”