Longyearbyen, Svalbard. File Image / Pixabay.
The Norwegian government is proposing to ban ships from using heavy fuel oil in the Svalbard area off the northern tip of Norway.
The area forms part of the country's national parks and attracts a significant number of cruise ships.
A ban on the use of heavy fuel oil by ships is already in place but does not apply to larger cruise ships or bulk vessels carrying coal.
Under the new proposal, the ban would be extended to cover all the waters around the Norwegian Arctic archipelago, according to local news provider the Barents Observer.
A two-year transition period for the ban's implementation would see general cargo ships sailing to Longyearbyen and Barentsburg exempt from the ban.
No date has been set on the start of proposal which would first go to a public hearing, the report said.