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.
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 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.
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
“Iceland’s new regulation to limit exhaust emissions with high levels of sulphur from shipping in Iceland’s waters is a positive step forward by Environment Ministers Guðmundur Ingi Guðbrandsson, but fails to address emissions of black carbon, which accelerates Arctic sea ice melt, and in turn accelerate the effects of human-induced climate change,” said Árni Finnsson, of the Iceland Nature Conservation Association. “The only viable step forward is for Iceland to completely ban the use and carriage of heavy fuel oil from its territorial waters, ahead of an International Maritime Organization ban currently in development to ban its use and carriage in the Arctic”.
“With an International Maritime Organization ban on the use of carriage of heavy fuel oil in the Arctic coming over the horizon, we welcome the decision made by AECO’s 30 expedition cruise companies to get ahead of the crowd, and to forge a path towards powering Arctic shipping with cleaner fuels.”
“The Clean Arctic Alliance welcomes MSC’s decision to avoid using the Northern Sea Route to ship goods between Asia and Europe. While MSC have understandably come under fire for their environmental record elsewhere, we note that some shipping companies appear to be thinking about the bigger picture, by recognising how a ‘surge in container shipping traffic in the Arctic’ could have a detrimental impact on the environment.”
The Clean Arctic Alliance will be at Arctic Circle in Reykjavík, Iceland on October 10-12, 2019. We’re involved in running two events involving the risks of heavy fuel oil in the Arctic – one outside of Arctic Circle, and one session on the program. Read on!