Clean Arctic Alliance Position Statement

Position Statement by the Clean Arctic Alliance – HFO-Free Arctic: Ban Heavy Fuel Oil from Arctic Shipping

The use of heavy fuel oil (HFO) by vessels operating in the Arctic poses a major risk to the Arctic marine environment. It produces harmful emissions that negatively impact the global climate, threatens the food security, livelihood and way of life of Arctic communities and produces emissions that impact human health. As the use of HFO is expected to rise as vessel traffic in the Arctic increases, the Clean Arctic Alliance strongly advocates the phasing out of the use of HFO as the most effective mitigation strategy as a matter of priority.

The impacts of Arctic shipping operations on Black Carbon emissions

A report by Daniel Lack PhD

This study looks at how variable factors specific to Arctic Ocean sailing impact on ship propulsion, and engine efficiency and how Arctic shipping needs to adjust its fuel consumption to the changes experienced. The reports delves into the complexity of BC emission predictions and the technical choices that will need to be made for the reduction of BC emissions from today and future Arctic sailing operations.

Arctic indigenous food security and shipping

Submission paper by FOEI, WWF and Pacific Environment to the IMO

Food security for many coastal Arctic indigenous communities is inextricably tied to the bounty of the sea. This paper highlights threats to that food security in light of increased Arctic shipping activities and all its associated impacts: oil and chemical spills; marine mammal strikes and disturbance; food waste disposal; invasive species introduction from ballast water discharges and hull fouling; wastewater effluent; and air emissions, including black carbon and air toxins.

Heavy Fuel Oil: A priority threat to Arctic cetaceans

A Briefing by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA)

The biggest threat to beluga whale and other cetaceans populations from increased shipping activities in the Arctic is the risk of a major HFO heavy fuel oil spill and its harmful long-lasting consequences on the whole ecosystem. The EIA makes recommendations to the to the 66th meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) on the need for cooperation work on oil spill response plans and making the issue of HFO a priority.

Arctic fuel switching impact study

A report by VARD Marine Inc. for WWF Canada

The aim of this study is to provide an objective assessment of the likely cost impact of fuel switching from residual fuel oils to low sulphur fuels. It presents an analysis of the economic impact of introducing more stringent air emission controls in the Canadian Arctic to align with North American Emission Control Area (ECA) south of 60°N where low sulphur emissions are now a requirement.

Heavy fuel oil use in Arctic shipping in 2015

A working Paper by the International Council on Clean Transportation (icct)

This paper provides valuable data on the number of ships operating on HFO in the Arctic, the amount of HFO fuel onboard these vessels, and the distance such fuel is carried throughout the Arctic in 2015. It finds that while there are fewer ships operating on HFO than distillate in the IMO Arctic and the U.S. Arctic, the quantity of fuel onboard ships in both areas is dominated by HFO at a ratio of more than 3:1.

Arctic Council and HFO use in Arctic shipping

A letter by Seas at Risk and Transport Environment

This letter addressed to EU officials Federica Mogherini, Karmenu Vella, Martin Schulz, Elmar Brok and Giovanni La Via outlines key asks regarding the discussion of heavy fuel oil use by shipping in the Arctic ahead of the Arctic Council’s Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment (PAME) Working Group, stressing the urgency for action.

Proposals for mitigating the risks associated with the use and carriage of HFO by vessels in the Arctic

A submission by the Circumpolar Conservation Union (CUU) and WWF

This submission to the Arctic Council’s Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment (PAME) working group outlines why phasing out HFO use by the shipping sector in the Arctic is the most effective available mitigation strategy to address the associated risks and provides further recommendations.

Risks & challenges of Heavy Fuel Oil use in the Arctic

An infographic by the European Climate Foundation

Increased shipping activities and changeable shipping conditions provide the backdrop of this comprehensive and visual representation of the many threats facing the Arctic environment, from heavy fuel oil spill, with catastrophic long-lasting consequences on this remote and vulnerable ecosystem, local indigenous populations’ health and food security to illegal waste sludge dumping. Increased Black Carbon and other air pollutants emissions only accelerate climate change and add to the problem of ice melt.

Ecological, economic and social costs of marine/coastal spills of fuel oils (refinery residuals)

A report by Tim Deere-Jones

The growing demands for shorter, quicker and less expensive sea routes around the northern hemisphere coupled with Arctic warming is generating a significant increase in vessel traffic through Arctic waters. This report offers a brief review of the behaviour and fate of both heavy fuel oil (HFO) and medium fuel oil (MFO) spills in polar, sub-polar and similar cold water marine environments. It also offers a brief review of the impacts of such spills and the relative “costing” of some of the impact parameters of such spills.