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.
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.
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”.