Ms Prior also called on the IMO Member States to implement a ban on the use and carriage of heavy fuel oil in Arctic waters.

The Clean Arctic Alliance has repeatedly called IMO to ban the use of HFO in Arctic waters, as during the meeting of IMO’s Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR 6), when the Alliance proposed IMO to focus meeting discussions on HFO.

As Dr Prior commented

With the climate crisis pushing Arctic change into overdrive, the global shipping industry must take responsibility for its contribution and action to counter the impacts of shipping pollution. By immediately cutting ship speeds to lower CO2 emissions, and reducing black carbon emissions by switching to cleaner fuels, the shipping industry can lead by example in rapidly and efficiently lowering its contribution to this Arctic climate emergency.

Moreover, the Alliance calls on Secretary General Kitack Lim to raise the alarm over the current Arctic meltdown with Member States, urge them to  immediately stop the use of polluting heavy fuel oils by ships in the Arctic, and move to the use of alternative, cleaner fuels, in line with a recommendation of the IMO’s Polar Code, which took effect in January 2017.

We have limited time to act and that time must be well spent, if we are to radically decrease the impact of shipping pollution on the Arctic region.

Dr Prior concluded that the shipping industry should not allow the rapid process of Arctic sea ice break-up and melt by creating leads – channels or routes – by breaking through the remaining multi-year ice, which provides an important security blanket to help stabilise the global climate – it is imperative that we protect what ice remains.