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MEPC 74: Talks on carbon emissions at Arctic pushed to PPR 7

20 May 2019

The Clean Arctic Alliance expressed frustration at the end of the International Maritime Organization’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 74) on Friday (17 May) due to Members States’ failure to address the risk to the Arctic from emissions of black carbon from international shipping.

A proposal by the Clean Shipping Coalition and Clean Arctic Alliance member Pacific Environment to immediately switch away from heavy fuel oil to distillate fuels did not garner adequate support from Member States.

However, there was broad support for measures and / or guidance to reduce Black Carbon emissions from Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Iran, the Republic of Korea, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Sweden, Tuvalu, and the United States, as well as the International Chamber of Shipping.

As such, the upcoming IMO’s Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR) technical committee in 2020 will be tasked to consider regulating or otherwise directly controlling Black Carbon emissions from marine diesel engines to reduce the impact on the Arctic.

“There’s some consolation that as the meeting closed, it was agreed that concrete proposals should be put forward for consideration at PPR 7 in February 2020, but it is a real shame that member states did not seize the opportunity to make some preliminary decisions this week, including that Arctic shipping should move away from heavy fuel oil to lighter fuels, which could immediately cut black carbon emissions by around one-third,” said Dr Sian Prior, Lead Advisor to the Clean Arctic Alliance.

“Cutting ship-sourced emissions of black carbon is a rapid path to countering the current climate crisis, and to minimise further impacts from shipping on the Arctic.

“While the broad recognition by IMO member states the need for regulations to control black carbon emissions is welcome, it is imperative that the IMO does not spend the next two years generating more hot air before reporting back to MEPC in 2021, instead of taking action.”

Photo credit: Clean Arctic Alliance
Published: 21 May, 2019


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