As Arctic shipping increases, pressure is mounting to protect the environment from fuels that are harmful when burned and spilled, including heavy fuel oil (HFO). Presently, the IMO is working to develop a ban on HFO in Arctic waters.
Ensuring the Arctic is protected from oil spills and black carbon pollution from heavy fuel oil is one these ways - it’s achievable, and within our grasp.
Heavy fuel oil, say those working to eliminate it, poses two different threats in the Arctic. First, when it burns, it releases black carbon, or soot. In addition to being a health hazard, if the soot settles on snow or ice, it makes it less reflective, speeding the rate at which it melts.
As a meeting of the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR 6) opens today in London, the Clean Arctic Alliance called on Member States to remain focussed to the goal of developing a ban on the use and carriage of heavy fuel oil by shipping in the Arctic.