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.
Please join the Clean Arctic Alliance and Bellona Foundation for an event welcoming new signatories to the Arctic Commitment, and to hear from operators, government and NGOs on what their policy, commitment and solutions are for a more sustainable Arctic.
Responding to the discovery that some of the new blended low sulphur shipping fuels developed and marketed by oil companies to comply with IMO 2020 air pollution standards will actually lead to a surge in the emissions of a Super Pollutant known as Black Carbon, the Clean Arctic Alliance is calling for the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to support an immediate switch to distillate fuels for ships in the Arctic and develop a global rule prohibiting fuels with high Black Carbon emissions
Scientists and environmentalists are sounding the alarm as this new type of fuel can unexpectedly result in high levels of black carbon – a pollutant especially harmful to the Arctic environment.
The anniversary of the Erika HFO spill serves as a stark reminder of the need for urgent action to protect the Arctic from HFO spills, while the recent evidence from fuel oil spills demonstrates that only a few hundred tonnes of HFO could easily lead to an ecological disaster in the Arctic