Up to the early 1970s marine pollution from ships was in essence unregulated. The shipping industry played a leading role in the development of the new law, and in several instances overtook the international legal negotiations by adopting innovative private schemes. Standards for the ship's safety are contained in the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea 1974, the cornerstone of a technical and managerial framework ensuring the safety of ships which in turn also impacts on marine pollution. Apart from the impact on the marine environment, shipping affects the atmospheric environment through engine emissions of harmful gases and particles. The Convention covers all biological diversity including the marine environment. However, the development of environmental law in relation to shipping has by no means stopped. Overall, international policy regarding the protection of the marine environment has been unfocused and in some respects inconsistent.