Black carbon alarm: Climate activists with the Clean Arctic Alliance sounded the alarm this week that negotiators could delete a demand by the Parliament that the Commission use a review of FuelEU Maritime to consider changes to the list of pollutants that the regulation covers — ”in particular the possibility to include black carbon (BC) emissions.” Black carbon refers to soot particles that increase solar absorption when they land on ice and snow, which are having an especially devastating impact in and near the Arctic, according to the nonprofits.
Sweden-shaming: In a letter the group sent to Sweden’s energy, environment and transport ministers on Wednesday, the Clean Arctic Alliance said it was “dismayed” that the Swedish presidency had omitted references to black carbon in compromise proposals prepared for today’s talks. “As an Arctic nation, Sweden will be fully aware of the ongoing extent of climate breakdown in the Arctic which will lead to catastrophic impacts across the globe,” the letter reads. “Decisions now being taken on the draft Fuel EU Maritime Regulation are a litmus test of the EU’s and indeed Sweden’s commitment to climate protection.”
But: The review clause is a tense subject for more reasons: Besides the inclusion of black carbon, the Parliament also wants the Commission to consider extending the measure’s scope to include smaller ships, and to apply it in full to sailings to or from non-EU ports.
The EU Council could remove mentions of black carbon emissions in the Arctic from the EU’s maritime regulation this week. Environmental activists warn that black carbon is detrimental to Arctic sea ice and needs to be curbed quickly and decisively.