Arctic Today: Beginning of the end for HFO
In October, the MEPC, the International Maritime Organisation committee working with environmental issues, agreed that a ban on heavy fuel oil should be implemented, as it already has been in the Antarctic, and in select parts of the North. The next step, to begin this week, will be for a sub-committee to identify what the impacts of a ban might be, and how they might be addressed.
Depending on how fast it works, the Sub-committee on Pollution Prevention and Response could have something to hand over at the end of the current week-long annual session, thought delegates suggest it will take at least two, in part due to foot dragging by countries who fear a conversion will cost them financially, or their governments electorally. Either way, the earliest such a measure can be adopted is 2020, due to the IMO’s rules of procedure.