Responding to the publication of a new report to the Nordic Council on “Reducing risks and increasing environmental security in Arctic Waters”, the Clean Arctic Alliance, the Iceland Nature Conservation Association and Green Transition Denmark today welcomed the report and urged Nordic Ministers to support the Report’s recommendations to ban the use of heavy fuel oil (HFO) in the Arctic and to minimize damaging emissions of pollutants that accelerate the melting of Arctic ice, such as black carbon.
Responding to publication of the second Climate Action Plan published by the Icelandic government on 23 June, the Clean Arctic Alliance and the Iceland Nature Conservation Association (INCA) urged the government to go further by making a commitment to eliminate the use of heavy fuel oil (HFO) use and carriage within Iceland’s 200 nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
“The on-going use, transport, or storage of oil-based fuels poses an inherent risk to the Arctic environment”, said Dr Sian Prior, Lead Advisor to the Clean Arctic Alliance. “With the Arctic warming more than twice as fast as the rest of the planet due to climate change, the region’s natural resources – ecosystems and wildlife – are coming under increasing pressure. This cannot continue – the global community must take a precautionary approach to protecting the Arctic’s vulnerable biodiversity in the face of such rapid change.”
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 […]
The 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.
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.