Clean Arctic Alliance response to new record volume of goods shipped on the Northern Sea Route

Let's get Heavy Fuel Oil out of the Arctic

Clean Arctic Alliance Response to new record volume of goods shipped on the Northern Sea Route

London, Tuesday January 23nd, 2018:- Responding to the latest figures from the Russian Federal Agency for Maritime and River Transport regarding a record volume of 9,737 million tons of goods shipped on the Northern Sea Route during 2017, Dr Sian Prior, lead advisor to the Clean Arctic Alliance, said:

“The reduced sea ice extent is already attracting more shipping into Arctic waters, in a search for shorter routes and cost savings, a trend that will continue for the foreseeable future . Not only is traffic expanding along the Arctic’s northern sea route, but also along the north-west passage to the north of Canada and the US, and even across the central Arctic Ocean. This growth in traffic brings an increased risk of oil spills, and greater emissions of black carbon, which exacerbates the melting of sea ice. With the next meeting of the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee coming up in April, we’re calling on member states to back a ban on the use of heavy fuel oil – the dirtiest from shipping fuels – from vessels operating in Arctic waters.”


–   According to the Russian Federal Agency for Maritime and River Transport, a total of 9,737 million tons of goods were last year shipped on the Northern Sea Route, the biggest annual volume ever. (

–   In 2016 it had been 7.3 mln tonnes, which in turn presented an increase of 35% compared to 2015. Recent estimates have said that the amount of cargo may reach 40 mln tonnes by 2022 due to new facilities on LNG production and development of oil and gas fields, and 70-80 mln tonnes by 2030 (

–   Currently the majority of fuel used to transport goods in the Arctic is HFO, which has negative impacts on the Arctic due to emissions of black carbon and also presents a significant spill risk.

–   With shipping in the region set to increase further, the Clean Arctic Alliance calls for a ban on the use and carriage of HFO as ship fuel in the Arctic. The IMO must proceed to put this ban in place.


About the Clean Arctic Alliance

The following not-for-profit organisations form the Clean Arctic Alliance, which is committed to achieving the phase out of HFO as marine fuel in the Arctic:

Alaska Wilderness League, Bellona, Clean Air Task Force, Danish Ecological Council, ECODES, Environmental Investigation Agency, European Climate Foundation, Friends of the Earth US, Greenpeace, Icelandic Nature Conservation Association, Nature And Biodiversity Conservation Union, Ocean Conservancy, Pacific Environment, Seas At Risk, Surfrider Foundation Europe,Transport & Environment and WWF.

More more information visit


For more information, please contact:

Dave Walsh, Communications Advisor, HFO-Free Arctic Campaign, [email protected], +34 692 826 764