During the Clean Arctic Alliance webinar held on September 28, The IMO draft Arctic Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) regulation: A ban in name only?, the speakers explored the social, environmental and legal implications of the draft Arctic HFO regulation if adopted as currently drafted, and what it will mean for Arctic environmental protection.
Reacting to news of the Arctic summer sea ice minimum reaching its second lowest extent in the 42-year satellite record on September 15, and to recent reports of a polar heatwave, Greenland ice sheet’s loss of million tonnes of ice per day, the collapse of the Spalte glacier and Milne Ice Shelf, and the Arctic’s shift to a new climate, the Clean Arctic Alliance today called on world leaders to take urgent action to slow Arctic warming
The proposed International Maritime Organization ban would allow exemptions and waivers resulting in 84% of Arctic shipping continuing to burn HFO in the Arctic, and permitting 70% of vessels to still carry HFO as fuel.
“Our thoughts and sympathies are with the people of Mauritius who are having to deal with this spill of heavy fuel oil, which is a man-made disaster not of their making. The Clean Arctic Alliance calls on the international community, including Japan, and the ship’s flag-State of Panama, to support France and aid Mauritiusto recover the spilled oil, and to minimise the impact on the Mauritian environment, wildlife and the natural resources on which local communities depend.”
“Our thoughts and sympathies are with the people of Mauritius who are having to deal with this heavy fuel oil spill, which is a man-made disaster not of their making.”
Clean Arctic Responds to a LinkedIn post by Francisco Malta of VM Industrials – Aderco Oceania, and a subsequent statement by the International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA) regarding black carbon emissions from very-low sulphur fuel oils (VLSFOs).
An event to consider the impact of black carbon in the Arctic, the consequences for Arctic communities, action to address shipping emissions within existing international forums (Arctic Council, the Stockholm Convention, the International Maritime Organization), and the opportunities to address black carbon emissions threats.
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.”
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.