In May, Nordic climate and environment ministers signed an agreement to establish green corridors for emission-free shipping between ports in the Nordic Region. By cleaning up shipping in the region, this ambitious and progressive move has the potential to protect our air, our climate, our marine environment and the health of millions of people. This is why the Clean Arctic Alliance, made up of 20 international non-for-profit organisations, has now written to the ministers from Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands to propose a number of domestic and international actions which would help to rapidly kick-start the establishment of these green corridors in Arctic waters.
When PPR 9 meets this April, it must agree on ambitious and urgent global action to dramatically reduce ship-source black carbon emissions this decade, mitigating the impact of black carbon on the Arctic, and helping slow the impact of the climate crisis on the Arctic. But this isn’t a job just for the IMO; individual states and regions must respond to the IMO’s encouragement by taking immediate action of their own to cut ship black carbon emissions.
Video Q&A: Why the EU’s Fit for 55 Package of Climate Regulations Must Include Black Carbon from Ships
The follow Q&A videos, presented by the Clean Arctic Alliance team considers how the EU’s Fit for 55 package can address black carbon and deliver a double-whammy by delivering the commitments in the new Communication and the IMO’s black carbon Resolution within the “brief and rapidly closing window to secure a liveable future” referred to in the latest IPCC AR6 report.
The Arctic Council Ministerial provides a unique opportunity for foreign ministers to demonstrate global leadership by committing to rapid, Arctic-wide elimination of heavy fuel oil, and to immediate reduction in black carbon emissions from shipping. These commitments can be enshrined in the 2021 Reykjavik Declaration, to be issued at the conclusion of the meeting.
The IMO is on the cusp of missing a crucial opportunity to protect the Arctic - it has a last chance this June when the Arctic HFO ban is due to be adopted. IMO member states - particularly the Arctic nations - must stand up for the Arctic and its people and its wildlife by taking action to strengthen the Arctic HFO ban ahead of its adoption, and bring it into effect sooner than 2029.
The Clean Arctic Alliance believes that by mandating a switch of fuels, the IMO - and the shipping sector could win an easy victory by achieving a major cut of black carbon emissions in the Arctic. It would also be a win for the global climate, for the Arctic and the people who depend on its ecosystem for their livelihoods.
Dr Sian Prior on the problems with the International Maritime Organization's ban on heavy fuel oil in the Arctic - and how it can be rectified.
It will be bad news for the Arctic and for Arctic communities if the volume of shipping increases in the coming decade before environmental protections including a ban on the use and carriage of HFO take effect.
‘The anniversary of the Erika HFO spill serves as a stark reminder of the need for urgent action to protect the Arctic from HFO spills, while the recent evidence from fuel oil spills demonstrates that only a few hundred tonnes of HFO could easily lead to an ecological disaster in the Arctic,’ argues Dr Sian Prior
Published today, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC) is the agreed global assessment of the impact of climate change on the ocean and the cryosphere (the planet’s icy environments). The report delivers some shocking revelations; the global ocean has been absorbing huge emissions for over three decades. Even at the current one degree of global warming, centuries of heating, acidification, and lower oxygen levels are already locked into the ocean. Feedback loops are being triggered – methane and carbon release from melting permafrost and extra heating due