Skip to content

Clean Arctic Alliance Manifesto for the Icelandic Chairmanship of Arctic Council 

Clean Arctic Alliance

Clean Arctic Alliance Manifesto for the Icelandic Chairmanship of Arctic Council

May 2019

During its two-year Chairmanship of the Arctic Council, Iceland will focus on sustainable development in the Arctic, with a special emphasis on the Arctic marine environment, climate and green energy solutions, people in the Arctic, and strengthening the Arctic Council. These comprehensive themes provide Iceland with the opportunity to demonstrate global leadership with respect to a region of the world that is in serious trouble.

Iceland’s priorities during its leadership of the Arctic Council will be critical to the future health of the Arctic Ocean. The time to act is now, and the Clean Arctic Alliance urges Iceland to:


–        Encouraging Arctic nations to reach a coordinated position at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) with respect to a ban on the use and carriage of heavy fuel oil (HFO) as fuel by ships operating in Arctic waters, which would reduce black carbon emissions from ships using HFO by around one-third and remove the risk of a HFO oil spill;

–        Increasing research and developing and adopting approaches and measures to mitigate the impacts of Arctic ocean acidification;

–        Continuing and strengthening the Arctic Council’s work on marine litter and marine plastic pollution to unify the Arctic States on their approach to mitigating and preventing this environmental threat.


–        Determining whether Arctic nations are fulfilling their commitments to reduce black carbon emissions by 25 – 33%, based on 2013 levels, by 2025 [5] and identify what proportion of these reductions are due to the Arctic shipping sector;

o   Seeking a coordinated position at the IMO recommending the adoption of measures to reduce black carbon emissions from Arctic shipping;

–        Promoting and supporting short-term measures to reduce GHG emissions from Arctic shipping, and in particular measures that reduce ship speed;

–        Supporting the development of a zero-emission vision for Arctic shipping [4].


–        Helping Arctic Indigenous communities protect their livelihoods and resources through a ban on the use and carriage of HFO by ships operating in Arctic waters; and

–        Promoting efforts to ensure that transition funds will be available to support Arctic Indigenous communities when a ban on the use and carriage of HFO by ships in Arctic waters is implemented.


–        Recognizing and agreeing on actions to address the lack of trained emergency responders as well as search, rescue and response equipment capacity in the event of an Arctic oil spill; and

–        Supporting and strengthening cooperation among Arctic nations to collaboratively respond to shipping accidents (e.g. Viking Sky) as well as oil and chemical spills.


[1]Arctic Council Expert Group on Black Carbon and Methane Summary of Progress and Recommendations, 2017

[1]ITF-OECD Decarbonising Maritime Transport Pathways to zero-carbon shipping by 2035 highlight alternative fuels and renewable energy as being able to deliver much of the required reductions including advanced biofuels, methanol, ammonia, hydrogen, wind assistance and electricity.

The Clean Arctic Alliance:Alaska Wilderness League| Bellona |Clean Air Task Force| Danish Ecological Council |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| Transport & Environment | WWF 

is campaigning to ban heavy fuel oil (HFO) from Arctic shipping


Download pdf version of Clean Arctic Alliance Manifesto for the Icelandic Chairmanship of Arctic Council


Share this post