Ports of Bremen and Bremerhaven Sign Up to Arctic Commitment to Ban Heavy Fuel Oil from Arctic Shipping

Let's get Heavy Fuel Oil out of the Arctic

Bremen, Germany 8 March 2018:- The German ports of Bremen and Bremerhaven have joined an ambitious campaign to ban heavy fuel oil (HFO) from Arctic shipping – along with more than 80 companies, organisations, politicians, NGOs and explorers.

bremenports GmbH & Co. KG, operates the twin ports Bremen and Bremerhaven, which rank as the fourth busiest container port in Europe, and the world’s 16th biggest.

“bremenports is proud to sign up to the Arctic Commitment. Heavy fuel oil has no place in Arctic shipping. We are calling on other ports to join us on calling on the IMO to enact a ban on its use in Arctic waters”, said Robert Howe, CEO of bremenports GmbH & Co. KG.

“Sustainability is a central element in bremenport’s strategy”, continued Howe. “We have implemented numerous projects under the label ‘greenports’, some of which have won international awards. In order to reduce local air pollution, we will soon bring into service a LNG-powered barge for dredged material. In addition, sustainability and environmental issues are integrated into bremenport’s public outreach.”

Launched at the Arctic Frontiers conference in January 2017 by the Clean Arctic Alliance – a coalition of non-governmental organisations – and expedition cruise ship operator Hurtigruten, the Arctic Commitment aims to protect Arctic communities and ecosystems from the risks posed by the use of heavy fuel oil, and calls on the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to ban its use and carriage as marine fuel by Arctic shipping. An HFO ban has already been in place in Antarctic waters, since 2011. In July 2017, the Clean Arctic Alliance welcomed action being taken by IMO member states to start work to identify measures to mitigate the risks of HFO spills, during the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee meeting (MEPC71).

“With the IMO’s MEPC72 meeting coming up in April, we are encouraged to see major maritime operators like bremenports supporting the banning of the use and carriage of HFO as ship fuel in Arctic waters. A ban is the simplest and most effective mechanism for mitigating the consequences of a spill and reducing harmful emissions”, said Dr Sian Prior, lead advisor to the Clean Arctic Alliance. “With many countries – including Germany – now backing a ban on HFO from the Arctic, we hope to see other ports join bremenports in becoming Arctic Commitment signatories, to help build understanding of the HFO problem, and increase the momentum to end its use by Arctic shipping”.

bremenports press release: Die bremischen Häfen unterstützen durch ihren Beitritt ein Verbot zur Nutzung von Schweröl in der arktischen Schifffahrt


About Heavy Fuel Oil
Heavy fuel oil is a dirty and polluting fossil fuel that powers ships throughout our seas and oceans. Around 75% of marine fuel currently carried in the Arctic is HFO; over half by vessels flagged to non-Arctic states – countries that have little if any connection to the Arctic.
But as sea ice melts and opens up Arctic waters further, even larger non-Arctic state flagged vessels fuelled by HFO are likely to divert to Arctic waters in search of shorter journey times. Combined with an increase in Arctic state flagged vessels targeting previously non-accessible resources, this will greatly increase the risks of HFO spills.
Already banned in Antarctic waters, if HFO is spilled in the colder waters of the Arctic, it breaks down slowly, with long-term devastating effects on both livelihoods and ecosystems. HFO is also a higher source of harmful emissions of air pollutants, such as sulphur oxide, and particulate matter, including black carbon, than alternative fuels such as distillate fuel and liquid natural gas (LNG). When emitted and deposited on Arctic snow or ice, the climate warming effect of black carbon is up to five times more than when emitted at lower latitudes, such as in the tropics (see infographics: Responding to Arctic Shipping Oil Spills: Risks and Challenges) and How Can We Reduce Black Carbon Emissions From International Shipping?

The Arctic Commitment
We invite organisations to become part of this historic commitment, which aims to protect Arctic communities and ecosystems from the risks posed by the use of heavy fuel oil as marine fuel.

To read the text the Arctic Commitment text, please visit the Arctic Commitment webpage

To sign up the Arctic Commitment, please contact [email protected]

Launch press release: Arctic Commitment Signatories Demand Arctic Shipping Clean Up, Tromsø, January 25, 2017

Following the launch of the Arctic Commitment on January 25th, 2017, the Clean Arctic Alliance announced the Our Ocean Arctic Commitment at the Our Ocean conference in Malta, in October 2017. More details.
One year anniversary: Arctic Shipping Commitment Drives Momentum Towards Heavy Fuel Oil Ban

Signatories, as of 25 January 2018:
The Clean Arctic Alliance:

16 January 2018: Clean Arctic Alliance Response to EU Parliament Ocean Governance Vote
16 March 2017: EU Parliament Arctic Resolution Vote Calls for Heavy Fuel Oil Ban
International Maritime Organization, 7 July 2017: Clean Arctic Alliance Welcomes IMO Action on Arctic Heavy Fuel Oil Risk
In July 2017, following MEPC71, a meeting of the International Maritime Organization’s Marine Environment Protection Committee the Clean Arctic Alliance welcomed the support given by Member States for a proposal to identify measures which will mitigate the risks posed by the use of heavy fuel oil (HFO) in Arctic waters, and called on the IMO to work towards a swift conclusion of the work.

About the Clean Arctic Alliance
The following not-for-profit organisations form the Clean Arctic Alliance, which is committed to achieving the phase out of HFO as marine fuel in the Arctic:
Alaska Wilderness League, Bellona, Clean Air Task Force, Danish Ecological Council, Ecology and Development Foundation ECODES, Environmental Investigation Agency, European Climate Foundation, Friends of the Earth US, Greenpeace, Icelandic Nature Conservation Association, Nature And Biodiversity Conservation Union, Ocean Conservancy, Pacific Environment, Seas At Risk, Surfrider Foundation Europe, Stand.Earth, Transport & Environment and WWF.
For more information visit http://www.hfofreearctic.org/

Dave Walsh, Communications Advisor, HFO-Free Arctic Campaign, [email protected], +34 692 826 764

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