Letter to Nordic Environment and Climate Ministers on Arctic Green Shipping Corridors

Letter to Nordic Environment and Climate Ministers
Download the letter (pdf)


Espen Barth Eide, Norwegian Minister for Climate and the Environment
Lea Wermelin, Danish Minister of Environment
Dan Jørgensen, Danish Minister for Climate, Energy & Utilities
Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson, Icelandic Minister of the Environment, Energy and Climate Kalistat Lund, Greenlandic Naalakkersuisoq for Landbrug, Selvorsyning, Energi og Miljø Magnus Rasmussen, Faroese Minister of Environment and Trade

Maria Ohisalo, Finnish Minister for Climate and the Environment Terhi Lehtonen, Finnish Ministry for the Environment
Annika Strandhäll, Swedish Minister for Climate and the Environment Alfons Röblom, Ålandic Minister for Environment


10th August 2022

The Clean Arctic Alliance, and members Iceland Nature Conservation Association, (INCA) and Green Transition Denmark, welcome the agreement signed by Nordic climate and environment ministers in May, to work together to establish Green Corridors for emission-free shipping between ports in the Nordic Region, along with the pilot project mapping specific intra-Nordic shipping routes for emission-free shipping.

The Clean Arctic Alliance, INCA and Green Transition Denmark would like to stress the importance of ensuring that emission-free shipping refers to eliminating emissions of all climate gases and short-lived climate forcers such as black carbon and urges the inclusion of Arctic routes in the Green Corridor initiative.

As you will be aware black carbon is a potent short lived climate forcing pollutant second only to methane in its overall warming impact on the atmosphere. It is responsible for around 20% of CO2e emissions from shipping and dramatically accelerates melting when it settles onto snow and ice in the Arctic.

With respect to the development of a Nordic Green Corridor route in the Arctic, the Clean Arctic Alliance, INCA and Green Transition Denmark urges the Nordic Ministers to focus on Nordic Arctic waters – the Norwegian and Greenland Seas along with the waters to the west of Greenland and south of Iceland and the Faroe Islands. We propose domestic and international action, which would kick-start moves to emission-free shipping corridors within the next couple of years.

Domestically, Nordic nations will need to…

The Clean Arctic Alliance is campaigning to protect the Arctic from the impacts of shipping www.cleanarctic.org

  1. Ban the use and carriage of heavy fuel oil (HFO) within the 12 nautical mile territorial sea limit ahead of the entry into effect of the IMO’s Arctic HFO ban (Regulation 43A of MARPOL Annex I due to enter into effect on 1 July 2024), and not issue waivers to the Arctic HFO ban for nationally flagged ships when the ban enters into effect,
  2. Prohibit the use of scrubbers and associated discharges within territorial seas,
  3. Develop shore power for use in larger ports,
  4. Require black carbon emissions and the connected global warming to be recorded on boardnationally flagged ships using the green corridor,
  5. Require port authorities to introduce a pollution fee for ships choosing to use scrubbers(until prohibited) and not installing particulate filters.

While internationally Nordic nations should collaborate to…

  1. Bring forward an amendment to MARPOL Annex VI to regulate a switch to distillate or othercleaner fuels or methods of propulsion (MEPC RES. 243 (77)),
  2. Urge the inclusion of a provision in the Fuel EU Maritime Regulation which would require allships using EU ports and operating in the Arctic to use distillate or other cleaner fuels ormethods of propulsion,
  3. Develop and submit a proposal for an emission control area in the Norwegian and GreenlandSeas including Iceland’s waters,
  4. Lead the strengthening of EEXI, EEDI and CII at the IMO and support high ambition in therevision of the IMO’s Greenhouse Gas Strategy,
  5. Call for a strengthening of the Arctic Council’s black carbon target to reduce emissions by atleast 50% by 2030.

These ten actions will provide a springboard for emission-free shipping corridors in the Nordic region of the Arctic.

Finally, the Clean Arctic Alliance is convening a high ambition black carbon coalition of nations and we urge the Nordic countries to engage now with other like-minded countries with the purpose of adopting regulations which will kick-start immediate shipping black carbon reductions.

Dr Sian Prior
Lead Advisor
Clean Arctic Alliance
Arni Finnsson Chairman
Náttúruverndarsamtök ĺslands (INCA)
Dr Kåre Press-Kristensen
Senior Advisor, Air Quality & Climate Green Transition Denmark

Download the letter (pdf)


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