Space between two icebergs, Sermilik Fjord

Getting Heavy Fuel Oil out of the Arctic – the State of Play

When the International Maritime Organization’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC70) meeting closed in London on Friday, October 28, the Clean Arctic Alliance hailed the progress made by member countries towards a phase out of the use of heavy fuel oil (HFO) by ships sailing in Arctic waters.

Heavy Fuel Oil: A Threat to the Arctic

An infographic by the Clean Arctic Alliance

Compelling facts and figures demonstrating the many risks associated with the use of heavy fuel oil (HFO). The document makes the case for the rapid phasing out of HFO use from Arctic shipping and offers some solutions on measures to protect the Arctic environment.

The real costs of HFO spills

An infographic by the Clean Arctic Alliance

Drawing on the lessons from the social, economic and environmental costs of four major heavy fuel oil spills, this document highlights how a precautionary approach should be applied to protect the Arctic environment from the disastrous consequences of a potential HFO spill.

The impacts of an Arctic shipping HFO ban on emissions of Black Carbon

A report by Daniel Lack PhD

This report demonstrates how a shift from low quality high sulphur residual fuels to high quality low sulphur distillate fuels will result in a 50% reduction in Black Carbon (BC) emissions and estimates what impacts a HFO ban would have on emissions of other pollutants and takes into consideration the technical and financial aspects.

Clean Arctic Alliance Position Statement

Position Statement by the Clean Arctic Alliance – HFO-Free Arctic: Ban Heavy Fuel Oil from Arctic Shipping

The use of heavy fuel oil (HFO) by vessels operating in the Arctic poses a major risk to the Arctic marine environment. It produces harmful emissions that negatively impact the global climate, threatens the food security, livelihood and way of life of Arctic communities and produces emissions that impact human health. As the use of HFO is expected to rise as vessel traffic in the Arctic increases, the Clean Arctic Alliance strongly advocates the phasing out of the use of HFO as the most effective mitigation strategy as a matter of priority.

The impacts of Arctic shipping operations on Black Carbon emissions

A report by Daniel Lack PhD

This study looks at how variable factors specific to Arctic Ocean sailing impact on ship propulsion, and engine efficiency and how Arctic shipping needs to adjust its fuel consumption to the changes experienced. The reports delves into the complexity of BC emission predictions and the technical choices that will need to be made for the reduction of BC emissions from today and future Arctic sailing operations.

Arctic indigenous food security and shipping

Submission paper by FOEI, WWF and Pacific Environment to the IMO

Food security for many coastal Arctic indigenous communities is inextricably tied to the bounty of the sea. This paper highlights threats to that food security in light of increased Arctic shipping activities and all its associated impacts: oil and chemical spills; marine mammal strikes and disturbance; food waste disposal; invasive species introduction from ballast water discharges and hull fouling; wastewater effluent; and air emissions, including black carbon and air toxins.

Heavy Fuel Oil: A priority threat to Arctic cetaceans

A Briefing by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA)

The biggest threat to beluga whale and other cetaceans populations from increased shipping activities in the Arctic is the risk of a major HFO heavy fuel oil spill and its harmful long-lasting consequences on the whole ecosystem. The EIA makes recommendations to the to the 66th meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) on the need for cooperation work on oil spill response plans and making the issue of HFO a priority.

Arctic fuel switching impact study

A report by VARD Marine Inc. for WWF Canada

The aim of this study is to provide an objective assessment of the likely cost impact of fuel switching from residual fuel oils to low sulphur fuels. It presents an analysis of the economic impact of introducing more stringent air emission controls in the Canadian Arctic to align with North American Emission Control Area (ECA) south of 60°N where low sulphur emissions are now a requirement.

Heavy fuel oil use in Arctic shipping in 2015

A working Paper by the International Council on Clean Transportation (icct)

This paper provides valuable data on the number of ships operating on HFO in the Arctic, the amount of HFO fuel onboard these vessels, and the distance such fuel is carried throughout the Arctic in 2015. It finds that while there are fewer ships operating on HFO than distillate in the IMO Arctic and the U.S. Arctic, the quantity of fuel onboard ships in both areas is dominated by HFO at a ratio of more than 3:1.