Environmental groups blasted the U.S. Wednesday for torpedoing the traditional joint declaration at the conclusion of the biennial Arctic Council ministerial meeting in Rovaniemi, in northern Finland, and called on Arctic nations to redouble their efforts to fight black carbon pollution in the region.
This summer cruise ships carrying thousands of passengers will sail in Arctic waters and in other vulnerable regions, far from search and rescue facilities, lamented Sian Prior, an advisor to the Clean Arctic Alliance campaign.
The Viking Sky incident carried a “strong risk of an oil spill” after it was reported to be carrying heavy fuel oil (HFO) on board, the Clean Arctic Alliance warned.
An incident like the Viking Sky in the Arctic could create a strong risk of an oil spill, which would be devastating for the environment and local communities.
As the Solomon Trader disaster shows, nowhere is safe from oil spills, write Dr Sian Prior, Eelco Leemans and Dave Walsh from the Clean Arctic Alliance.
In the interest of transparency, Carnival should release its fuel logs “to show the world it has been, and will continue to be, a leader in getting heavy fuel oil out of this fragile Arctic ecosystem,”
The cruise industry should shine as maritime’s beacon for robust environmental stewardship, given its visibility, growth and plentiful coffers, ecologists say.
Carnival Corp has given conflicting information on what kind of fuel its ships burn in the Arctic.
A renewed call went out last week to phase out the use of heavy fuel oil by ships in the Arctic from the International Maritime Organization, the United Nations agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution.
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) continued its efforts to adopt a ban of Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) in the Arctic by 2021 during a meeting in London. Environmental advocates laud the work, but urge Russia and Canada, the only two Arctic states yet to commit to the ban, to sign on to the initiative.