Call for Arctic Heavy Fuel oil Carriage ban by 2023

Tuesday February 19, 2019

The proposed ban on the carriage and use of heavy fuel oil by shipiping in Arctic waters should be in force by 2023, an environmental group has said.

Work on formulating a ban lies with the International Maritime Organisation's (IMO) sub-committee on pollution prevention which meets in London this week.

Addressing that committee, Clean Arctic Alliance's (CLC) lead advisor, Dr Sian Prior, said that the development of the Arctic heavy fuel oil ban should be concluded swiftly to be "adopted in 2021, and phased in by 2023".

Prior said that the Arctic "is warming faster than anwhere lese on earth".  An increase in shipping through the region "will exacerbate the climate crisis through the deposits of black carbon caused by the burning of heavy fuel oil onto sea ice and ice caps".

A ban would also address the risk of oil spills in the Arctic seas, Prior said.

Although the sub-committee has yet to complete its work on impact assessment methodology, the alliance "hopes that finalising guidance on impact assessment methodology does not delay the development of the ban on the use and carriage of heavy fuel oil".

A side event on this issue facilitated by Prior takes place at lunchtime on February 19 at IMO's London headquarters.