As Arctic shipping increases, pressure is mounting to protect the environment from fuels that are harmful when burned and spilled, including heavy fuel oil (HFO). Presently, the IMO is working to develop a ban on HFO in Arctic waters.
Given the severe risks associated with HFO, the international shipping community banned its use and carriage by ships around Antarctica in 2011. A ban on HFO in the Arctic was considered in 2013 during the deliberations on the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Polar Code, but while some member states were supportive, no consensus was reached. In April 2018, agreement was reached to develop a ban. Now, in 2019, with an Arctic HFO ban on the way – and this infographic charts the progress so far.
The study is complementary to CE Delft’s 2018 assessment of the costs and benefits of a Residuals bunker fuel ban in the IMO Arctic waters and analyses for a Russian trade flow the potential impacts of a ban on the use and carriage of heavy fuel oil
Russia has the longest Arctic coastline and has invested heavily in Arctic ports and infrastructure, so it will come as no surprise that most of the ships operating in the Arctic are Russian-flagged and that these ships use and carry large amounts of fuel, including HFO
This infographic explores, how and where heavy fuel oil (HFO) is being used in the Arctic – and who is using it.
In April 2018, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) committed to develop a ban on HFO for use and carriage as fuel by ships in Arctic waters, on an appropriate timescale, on the basis of an assessment of the impacts.
An impact assessment methodology should follow these 5 STEPS
The IMO has agreed to start working on the development of a ban on the use and carriage of heavy fuel oil (HFO) as fuel by ships in Arctic waters. Such a ban would not prohibit the carriage of heavy grade oil in bulk as cargo, but would require ships sailing in the Arctic waters to use and carry non-HFO bunker fuels only. This would lead to a reduction of black carbon emissions and reduce costs and damages in case of an oil spill, but also impose additional costs on ship owners/operators that otherwise would have used and/or carried HFO bunkers or blends thereof for on-board combustion purposes.
WWF-Canada is advocating nationally and internationally for the phase out of both the use and carriage for use of heavy fuel oil in the Arctic, without driving up costs for northern and remote communities.
A Report by the Danish Ecological Council
This publication focuses on air pollution with CO₂, SO₂, NOx and fine/ultrafine particles from shipping, technical solutions, existing regulation, the need for further regulation and enforcement. The purpose is to inspire decision-makers and other key stakeholders to implement more ambitious regulation as well as enforcement to reduce air pollution from shipping to the benefit of shipping as a business, the climate, public health and nature.
Five briefing papers prepared by Bryan Comer PhD, The International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT)
The use of heavy fuel oil (HFO) as a marine fuel poses serious environmental and economic risks, especially in ecologically sensitive areas like the Arctic. Using HFO is risky not only because of potential fuel oil spills, but also because burning it produces harmful air and climate pollutants, including black carbon (BC). As ship traffic increases in the Arctic, the risk to the Arctic environment and its peoples will also increase.
These briefings look at HFO use by flag state, ship type, ship owner, cruise ships, fishing vessels in the IMO Polar Code Arctic, 2015.