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Clean Arctic Alliance and Arctic Cruise Operators Urge for Ban on HFO

The Clean Arctic Alliance and the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO) have reconfirmed their support for a ban of heavy fuel oil (HFO) in Arctic shipping and have urged the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to set deadline to phase out the use of HFO in the Arctic by 2020.

During the Marine Environment Protection Committee’s (MPEC’s) 70th session held 24-28 October 2016, AECO raised concerns about the use of HFO in the Arctic and stated that a ban is needed to avoid “Different national regulations as well as competitive differences between areas and among operators, and would also be consistent with AECO’s objectives to support regulations with clear environmental benefits.”

Dr Sian Prior of the Clean Arctic Alliance agreed and said she “welcomes the AECO’s reconfirmation of its support for an international ban on heavy fuel oil in Arctic waters. AECO’s decision demonstrates the growing conviction within the shipping industry that the Arctic is simply too vulnerable and too fragile to allow the use of this dirtiest of fuels, and that HFO can no longer be considered an option for powering Arctic shipping in the future”.

During MEPC last month, several countries revealed the progress they have made towards phasing out HFO in the Arctic and alongside Secretary-General Kitak Lim, stated their concerns regarding the fuel and the need for further consideration of the risks it poses.

The Clean Arctic Alliance and AECO will continue to urge member states to reduce the use of HFO and put forward proposals for a ban at the next IMO MEPC meeting in May 2017.

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