MEPC81: IMO Approves New ECAs for Canadian and Norwegian Arctic Waters

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Friday March 22, 2024

The IMO has approved new emissions control areas (ECAs) for Canada and Norway's Arctic waters.

The new ECAs were approved at the UN body's Marine Environment Protection Committee meeting in London this week, and are up for adoption at the next meeting in October.

The Canadian Arctic ECA will cover NOx, SOx and particulate matter emissions, and the Norwegian Sea ECA will cover NOx and SOx.

The main effect of the ECAs will be to increase demand for 0.1% sulfur fuels in these areas, or to generate new demand for scrubbers for ships operating there.

NGO the Clean Arctic Alliance welcomed the move in an emailed statement on Friday.

"We hope that the designation of ECAs in Canadian Arctic Waters and the Norwegian Sea will drive broad positive change on reducing shipping climate pollutants, especially if the shipping sector complies with the designation by switching to low-sulphur distillate fuels or other cleaner non-fossil fuels," Sian Prior, lead advisor to the NGO, said in the statement.

"In addition, moving to cleaner fuels will reduce emissions of SOx and particulate matter leading to co-benefits with reductions in black carbon (BC) emissions, provided that cleaner ECA-compliant fuels - and, in particular, distillates - are used."