It will be bad news for the Arctic and for Arctic communities if the volume of shipping increases in the coming decade before environmental protections including a ban on the use and carriage of HFO take effect.
NGOs and Indigenous groups today cautiously acknowledged progress by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and its Member States in agreeing on a draft regulation on heavy fuel oil (HFO) use and carriage in the Arctic, but denounced the inclusion of loopholes in the text that mean the ban will not come into effect until 2029, leaving the Arctic exposed to the growing threat of HFO spills for close to another decade.
Radio Canada International’s Eye on the Arctic: Inuit orgs welcome Canada’s support of heavy fuel oil ban in Arctic waters […]
he Clean Arctic Alliance welcomes Canada’s support for a ban on the use and carriage of heavy fuel oil in Arctic waters, however we believe the International Maritime Organization must not entertain any arguments calling for a delay or exemptions in the implementation of an Arctic ban on HFO”
NGOs this morning called on the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to protect the Arctic marine environment from the impacts of international shipping, by agreeing to a new regulation banning the use and carriage of heavy fuel oil (HFO) as fuel by ships operating in Arctic waters during this week’s “Arctic IMO Summit” in London.
The use of heavy fuel oil by ships crossing the Arctic creates the risk of a catastrophic spill – which would be practically impossible to clean up. Worse still, when heavy fuel oil (HFO ) is burned in ship’s engines, the black carbon emitted falls onto Arctic snow or ice. This reduces the reflectivity of the snow, leading to more warming, and increased climate change impacts. The Clean Arctic Alliance is campaigning for a ban on heavy fuel oil from Arctic shipping.
Canada will support a ban on the use of heavy fuel oil by ships plying Arctic waters at the upcoming meeting of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in London, Transport Canada officials announced during a teleconference call Wednesday, according to people who participated in the call.
The use of heavy fuel oil by ships crossing the Arctic creates the risk of a catastrophic spill – which would be practically impossible to clean up. Worse still, when heavy fuel oil (HFO ) is burned in ship’s engines, the black carbon emitted falls onto Arctic snow or ice.
The Clean Arctic Alliance has published an open letter to industry requesting that not only should individual organisations and companies take responsibility for ensuring that their fuels to not lead to further pollution, but that they should actively work to limit the climate impact from global shipping.
The use of these types of fuels “will lead to a massive increase in black carbon emissions” that will “both accelerate the melting of Arctic sea ice and have a major impact on Earth’s climate,” argued the alliance’s lead advisor Sian Prior.