Navigating The Arctic: Urgent Calls For Stricter HFO Regulations


The International Maritime Organization (IMO) agreed to prohibit the use and carriage of polluting heavy fuel oil (HFO) in Arctic waters. However, significant loopholes allow waivers and exemptions, delaying full implementation until 2029. This leaves around 74% of Arctic shipping unaffected, risking environmental damage from spills and black carbon emissions.

Environmental Risk and Impact

Despite the ban, the Arctic faces increasing shipping activity, amplifying the threat of HFO spills and black carbon emissions. Black carbon, a major contributor to climate warming and ice melt, settles on ice, accelerating its decline and creating harmful feedback loops.

Advocacy for Stricter Enforcement

The Clean Arctic Alliance advocates for immediate, loophole-free enforcement of the HFO ban by IMO member states, particularly Arctic coastal nations. This includes transitioning to cleaner fuels like diesel and implementing emission-reducing technologies to safeguard the Arctic environment.

Call to Action for the Shipping Industry

The alliance urges the shipping industry to embrace the ban as an opportunity to lead in environmental stewardship. By choosing cleaner fuels and technologies, such as diesel with particulate filters, ships can achieve over 90% reduction in black carbon emissions, contributing to Arctic preservation and global climate goals.

This approach not only protects the fragile Arctic ecosystem but also sets a precedent for sustainable shipping practices worldwide, crucial in mitigating climate impacts and fostering a cleaner future.

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