After the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators’ Annual Meeting, the association announced several decisions, aiming to strengthen responsible industry practices. Among these, is a ban on the use and carriage of heavy fuel oil (HFO) in the Arctic.
Clean Arctic Alliance’s Lead Advisor, Dr Sian Prior and Árni Finnsson from the Iceland Nature Conservation Association are urging the Nordic Prime Ministers and the German Federal Chancellor to support the call for a ban on heavy fuel oil in the Arctic at their gathering in Reykjavik, Iceland.
In light of climate change and its impact on the Arctic region, Dr Sian Prior, Lead Advisor to the Clean Arctic Alliance, urges the shipping industry to reduce, as soon as possible, ship speed to cut CO2 emissions globally, while also reduce black carbon emissions by changing to cleaner fuels in the Arctic.
In light of Iceland’s Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources decision, which bans the use of fuel oil with more than 0.1% sulphur content for ships operating in its territorial waters, Dr Sian Prior, Lead Advisor to the Clean Arctic Alliance, highlighted that the Alliance although supports this decision, they are in favour of generally banning HFO use and carriage as fuel.
As a meeting of the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 74) in London closed Friday, the Clean Arctic Alliance expressed frustration over Member States’ lack of action to minimize black carbon emissions in the Arctic.
The Clean Arctic Alliance urged the IMO Member States to reduce the impact of black carbon emissions from international shipping on the Arctic environment, as the UN body gathers in London for a meeting of its MEPC74. During the meeting, a number of issues, including black carbon emissions and heavy fuel oil in the Arctic will feature on the agenda.
Clean Arctic Alliance published a statement in response to the Viking Sky incident, stressing the possibility of an oil spill which was fortunately prevented. Yet, in light of similar incidents, the Alliance focused on banning HFO use and carriage in Arctic waters.
IMO has been pushed to ban heavy fuel oil (HFO) for use and carriage as a fuel in the Arctic. However, on the one hand some want the ban to take place as soon as possible. On the other hand, many are those that support the idea of not banning HFO before knowing the result of an assessment of the impacts, regarding both the environment and the economy of Arctic indigenous and local communities and industries.
As the meeting of IMO’s Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR 6) opens today in London, the Clean Arctic Alliance called on Member States to give emphasis to the target of establishing a ban on the use and carriage of heavy fuel oil by shipping in the Arctic. The actual adoption of the ban is expected to take place on 2021, with the industry making its decision on what fuels it will use during 2022. The ban will apply in 2023.
Due to the important risks around HFO, the international shipping community banned its use and carriage by ships around Antarctica in 2011. To describe the process of what have been done and what will be done in the future, the Clean Arctic Alliance published an infographic. A ban on HFO in the Arctic was considered in 2013 during the deliberations on the IMO Polar Code.
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