The Clean Arctic Alliance has written to the ministers from Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands to propose a number of domestic and international actions which would help to rapidly kick-start the establishment of these green corridors in Arctic waters.
According to the Alliance, within the 12 nautical territorial limit of each country’s domestic waters, its suggests the banning of the use and carriage of polluting heavy fuel oil (HFO). Norway has already introduced such a ban in the waters around Svalbard.
Such a ban will be an international requirement from July 2024 in some Arctic waters, when the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Arctic HFO ban comes into effect.
Waivers that would allow the continued use of HFO should be refused, along with a prohibition on the use of scrubbers to clean the exhaust gas produced from the burning of such dirty fuel, and on the discharge of scrubber wastewater into the ocean
said the Clean Arctic Alliance.
In harbours, shore-based electrical power must be made available to arriving ships, says the Alliance, in order to replace the need to burn fossil fuels while alongside.
We propose that Nordic countries also require the mandatory recording of black carbon emissions from ships and the introduction of a port pollution fee on ships that continue to use scrubbers (until it is prohibited) and do not have particulate filters installed
Furthermore, it is also calling on the Nordic environment and climate ministers to lead efforts within the Arctic Council to strengthen its black carbon target to reduce emissions by at least 50% by 2030.
The governments of Nordic EU member states should also urge for the inclusion of a provision in the Fuel EU Maritime Regulation, which would require all ships using EU ports, and operating in the Arctic, to use distillate or other cleaner fuels or methods of propulsion.
They should also bring forward an amendment to international shipping regulations (MARPOL Annex VI) which would achieve the same internationally – important when it is considered that not all the ships operating in the green corridor will be flagged by Nordic countries
Another measure to support green shipping corridors would be the development of an emission control area in the Norwegian and Greenland Seas, including Iceland’s waters. “Not only would all shipping in the region be required to move to cleaner fuels, but the polluting impact of NOx emissions – contributing to acid rain and eutrophication – could also be addressed,” Clean Arctic Alliance explained.
Beyond measures that would have an immediate benefit in the Greenland and Norwegian Seas, the Nordic Ministers are called to support measures to address GHG emissions from ships which will have global benefits as well as benefits for a green shipping corridor.
Strengthening short-term energy efficiency measures, such as the IMO’s Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI) and the Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII), to require meaningful reductions in GHG emissions this decade should accompany support for “high ambition” in the revision of the IMO’s greenhouse gas strategy, for example, supporting a 50% reduction in CO2e emissions by 2030 and full decarbonisation before 2050
Finally, the Clean Arctic Alliance is convening a high ambition black carbon coalition of nations to work together for the purpose of adopting regulations which will kick-start immediate shipping black carbon reductions in the next year or two.