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MEPC72: Heavy fuel oil consumption at Arctic to be banned

16 Apr 2018

International Maritime Organization (IMO) member states have made a decision to ban the consumption of heavy fuel oil (HFO) from Arctic shipping by 2021, says the Clean Arctic Alliance.

The ban was proposed by eight IMO Member States and supported by other countries during the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC72), which closed today in London on Friday (13 April).

The meeting directed a sub-committee (PPR6) to develop a ban on heavy fuel oil use and carriage for use by ships in the Arctic, “on the basis of an assessment of the impacts” and “on an appropriate timescale”.

The proposal to ban HFO as shipping fuel from Arctic waters was co-sponsored by Finland, Germany, Iceland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and the US.

The proposal for a ban, along with a proposal to assess the impact of such a ban on Arctic communities from Canada, was supported by Australia, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Ireland, Japan, the League of Arab States, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, and the UK.

“Thanks to inspired and motivated action taken by a number of IMO member states to move towards a ban on heavy fuel oil, Arctic communities and ecosystems will be protected from the threat of oil spills, and the impact of black carbon emissions”, said Dr Sian Prior, Lead Advisor to the Clean Arctic Alliance.

 “A ban is the simplest and most effective way to mitigate the risks of HFO – and now we’re calling on the IMO to ensure that this ban will be in place by 2021. Any impact assessment must inform, but not delay progression towards an Arctic HFO ban, and member states must ensure that Arctic communities are not burdened with any costs associated with such a ban.”

Photo credit: Clean Arctic Alliance
Published: 16 April, 2018


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