The Clean Arctic Alliance and indigenous groups welcomed the support given by member states to commence work on developing a ban on the use and carriage of heavy fuel oil in Arctic waters as the International Maritime Organization’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 73) closed last week in London.
Support for commencing work, to mitigate the risks of using and carrying HFO fuel in the Arctic which includes developing a ban, at the PPR6 technical meeting, in February 2019, was voiced by Austria, Bangladesh, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Poland, and the UK.
MEPC 73 considered impact assessment methodology ahead of sending the “Scope of Work”- which sets out the work to be done to reduce the risks associated with the “use and carriage of heavy fuel oil as fuel by ships in Arctic waters”, including the proposal for a ban, to the on Pollution Prevention and Response subcommittee (PPR6) in February 2019.
At MEPC72 in April 2018, Arctic states of Finland, Iceland, Sweden, Norway and the United States, along with Germany, the Netherlands and New Zealand, proposed a ban on the use and carriage as fuel of HFO by ships operating in the Arctic as the simplest approach to reducing the risks associated with HFO.
Canada and Russia have both supported IMO work to consider ways to mitigate the risks associated with HFO, but Canada has yet to take a position on a ban.
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