MEPC likely to hear of growing support for HFO Arctic ban
The Norwegian Shipowners Association has come out in favour of a total ban of heavy fuel oil in the Arctic. The shipowners’ association joins a growing chorus of companies, associations and lobby group NGOs that are pushing for discussions at the IMO to intensify on the subject.
Many green groups were disappointing that the Polar Code failed to go as far as banning HFO in the Arctic, despite it being banned in Antarctic waters. Canada has put forward a proposal into the ongoing meeting of the marine environment protection committee this week to start the ball rolling. The call is said to be backed by Finland, Germany, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway and the US.
The use of HFO is linked to black carbon emissions which acts as a heat sink, leading to increased ice melt.
A number of companies with regular Arctic cruise activities have made voluntary decisions to use other fuels, notably low sulphur cleaner distillate fuels despite the higher costs.