NGOs and Indigenous groups today cautiously acknowledged progress by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and its Member States in agreeing on a draft regulation on heavy fuel oil (HFO) use and carriage in the Arctic, but denounced the inclusion of loopholes in the text that mean the ban will not come into effect until 2029, leaving the Arctic exposed to the growing threat of HFO spills for close to another decade.
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“The Clean Arctic Alliance welcomes Canada’s support for a ban on the use and carriage of heavy fuel oil in Arctic waters, however we believe the International Maritime Organization must not entertain any arguments calling for a delay or exemptions in the implementation of an Arctic ban on HFO”.
NGOs this morning called on the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to protect the Arctic marine environment from the impacts of international shipping, by agreeing to a new regulation banning the use and carriage of heavy fuel oil (HFO) as fuel by ships operating in Arctic waters during this week’s “Arctic IMO Summit” in London.
The Clean Arctic Alliance has published an open letter to industry requesting that not only should individual organisations and companies take responsibility for ensuring that their fuels to not lead to further pollution, but that they should actively work to limit the climate impact from global shipping.
“If immediate action isn’t taken by the International Maritime Organization, the shipping industry’s use of very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) – introduced to comply with the 2020 sulphur cap – will lead to a massive increase in Black Carbon emissions, and this will both accelerate the melting of Arctic sea ice and have a major impact on Earth’s climate,” said Dr Sian Prior, Lead Advisor to the Clean Arctic Alliance, a coalition of non-governmental organisations working for a ban on heavy fuel oil from Arctic shipping.