The Clean Arctic Alliance Welcomes European Parliament's Support for Arctic HFO Ban

Thursday March 16, 2017

The Clean Arctic Alliance today welcomed a vote by the European Parliament (EP) that approves the Resolution on the Arctic, calling on the Commission and the Member States to take all necessary measures to actively facilitate the ban on the use and carriage of HFO as ship fuel in vessels navigating the Arctic seas.

"Today, the elected representatives of European citizens have delivered a clear message to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) - it's time to ban the use of heavy fuel oil from Arctic shipping," said Dr. Sian Prior, Lead Advisor to the Clean Arctic Alliance.

"By putting a ban in place by 2020, the IMO has an opportunity to reduce both the impact of oil spills and the levels of pollutants which drive the melting of Arctic snow and ice."

The Clean Arctic Alliance says it is urging IMO Member States to support efforts to address risks related to use of HFO in Arctic shipping, including measures leading to a ban.

Faig Abbasov, Shipping Policy Officer at Transport & Environment (T&E), commenting on the EP vote, said: "we welcome the European Parliament's clear call for a ban on the use of the refinery residues by ships in the Arctic.

"The next meeting of the IMO's environment committee is an important occasion to start formal discussions on addressing the risks related to using heavy fuel oil in the Arctic. Today's vote should be a clear signal for EU member states to put heavy fuel oil on the IMO's agenda in its next meeting."

IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) is set to meet in London on July 3-7, where it is expected a submission detailing the of HFO in Arctic shipping will be submitted.

In January, the Clean Arctic Alliance welcomed the signature of Daniel Skjeldam, CEO of Hurtigruten AS (Hurtigruten), to the Arctic Commitment.