Alliance Calls for Focus on Arctic Heavy Fuel Oil Ban

FunnelIllustration; Image Courtesy: PxHere under CCO license /Public Domain

The Clean Arctic Alliance has called on Member States to remain focused to the goal of developing a ban on the use and carriage of heavy fuel oil by shipping in the Arctic.

The alliance released the call ahead of the IMO’s meeting on Pollution Prevention and Response taking place in London, February 18 – 22, 2019.

“While IMO delegates gather to discuss ways to mitigate the impacts of heavy fuel oil (HFO) – the dirtiest of ships’ fuels – on Arctic ecosystems, IMO member states must keep their sights firmly on the need for a ban, especially in light of recent revelations from the IPCC on the urgent need to limiting the effects of climate change on the Arctic region,” said Dr Sian Prior, Lead Advisor to the Clean Arctic Alliance.

“The Arctic is warming faster than anywhere else on earth – and as sea ice recedes, any increased HFO-fueled shipping in the region will exacerbate the climate crisis, through the deposits of black carbon caused by the burning of HFO, onto sea ice and ice caps. By banning both the use and carriage of HFO as fuel from ships operating in Arctic waters, the risks of a catastrophic oil spill can also be avoided. The Clean Arctic Alliance calls for the work on the development of the Arctic HFO ban to be concluded swiftly, so that it can be adopted in 2021, and phased in by 2023.”

At October’s IMO gathering of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 73), support for the work – to mitigate the risks of using and carrying HFO in the Arctic, including developing a ban – to commence at the PPR 6 technical meeting, was voiced by Austria, Bangladesh, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Poland, the United States and the UK.

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