Clean Arctic Alliance: we must focus on the Arctic Heavy Fuel Oil ban

An image of the Arctic to demonstrate the Arctic heavy fuel oil ban concept
© iStock/SeppFriedhuber

Clean Arctic Alliance has encouraged the six IMO Member States to remain focused on developing the heavy fuel oil ban in the Arctic.

The campaign led by Clean Arctic Alliance is the HFO-Free Arctic, which advocates the Arctic Heavy Fuel Oil ban. Clean Arctic Alliance writes: “HFO-Free Arctic is a global campaign committed to protecting the Arctic from the hazards and risks posed by the use of heavy fuel oil (HFO). The campaign is currently working to secure a legally binding ban at the International Maritime Organization on the use of HFO as marine fuel in Arctic waters by 2020.”

An image of the Arctic to demonstrate the Arctic heavy fuel oil ban concept
© iStock/SeppFriedhuber

The meeting of the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response opened today in London.

Clean Arctic Alliance called on Member States to continue developing the Arctic Heavy Fuel Oil Ban.

Dr Sian Prior, Lead Advisor to the Clean Arctic Alliance, said: “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.”

Prior added: “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”.

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