Responding to news that the world’s largest container ship operator, Maersk, plans to run a trial crossing of the Arctic’s Northern Sea Route – along with the coast of Russia, between the Pacific and the Atlantic, Clean Arctic Alliance Lead Advisor Sian Prior said:
“The Clean Arctic Alliance challenges Maersk to come clean on what fuel the Venta Maersk will use when crossing Arctic waters – and for Maersk, its customers, and its competitors to commit to never using the world’s dirtiest fuel-heavy fuel oil (HFO) – to power ships in the Arctic.”
“With this week’s news that the Arctic’s strongest sea ice has broken up twice this year, for the first time on record, using heavy fuel oil to power shipping in the Arctic not only increases the risk of oil spills, but also generates emissions of black carbon, which exacerbate the melting of both sea and glacier ice in the Arctic region. By taking the lead in the Arctic, Maersk could lead a vanguard of companies shipping commercial goods that move towards clean and renewable forms of propulsion for shipping worldwide.”
In April 2018, the International Maritime Organization’s Marine Environment Protection Committee agreed to move forward on consideration of an Arctic ban on heavy fuel oil. The meeting directed a sub-committee (PPR6) – which will meet in early 2019 – to develop a ban on heavy fuel oil use and carriage for use by ships in the Arctic, “on the basis of an assessment of the impacts” and “on an appropriate timescale”.
“It is time for international shipping companies to clean up their act by moving to cleaner fuels while operating in sensitive and vulnerable regions of the world – for the sake of the Arctic, its people, its wildlife and indeed, for the whole planet.” concluded Prior.
Press Release: Heavy Fuel Oil