Environmentalists Critical of Draft IMO Polar Code

MarineLink.com
Thursday, January 30, 2014
Arctic shipping: CCL File Photo

IMO’s draft ‘Polar Code’ ignores environmental dangers of increased Polar shipping says 'Seas at Risk,  a European association of non-governmental environmental organisations in the following public statement:

The new draft ‘Polar Code’ of safety and environmental rules, issued on 24, January 2014, fails to address the looming danger of having non ice-strengthened and poorly prepared ships in supposedly ‘ice-free’ polar waters, environmental organisations have warned.

The final draft, drawn up by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), governs ships operating in Arctic and Antarctic waters. Increased shipping activity poses significant new threats to the polar environment and wildlife through oil spills, black carbon deposition, sewage discharges and the introduction of invasive species.

The IMO has reached preliminary agreement on rules for the vessels, which will increasingly include oil tankers, container ships and cruise ships potentially operated by crew not accustomed to such harsh conditions. Blinded by the prospect of ‘ice-free’ operations enabled by the sea ice melt, the IMO makes the fateful assumption that these ships can safely operate without special hull protection or restrictions such as reduced speed.

The Polar Code’s environmental chapter also lacks ambition. ‘Residual’ heavy ship fuel oil, the dirtiest type of fuel used in the transport sector, would have a catastrophic environmental impact if spilled and is already banned in Antarctic waters, but the IMO dismissed the issue outright for the Arctic. Black carbon emissions – widely recognised as the second most important agent of climate change after CO2 – ballast water and oil spills have also not been addressed.

Bill Hemmings, on behalf of the environmental organisations [listed at the end here], commented: “A Polar Code which fails to address the major environmental dangers of increased shipping opens the door to potentially catastrophic consequences should a disaster happen. Environmental protection has essentially been put on the back-burner through the active lobbying of the shipping and cruise industry which consistently dismisses ecological concerns.”

“This is a disgraceful illustration of big business working behind closed doors to advance its own corporate interests before those of mankind and the unique polar environment. When the next big incident happens in polar waters the public will know where responsibility lies.”

The concerned organisations include Seas at Risk and Transport & Environment, as members of the Clean Shipping Coalition, as well as the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition, Friends of the Earth US, and Pacific Environment.

 

Maritime Reporter April 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

5th Floating Accommodation for Lerwick

A further accommodation ship, Ocean Atlantic, is due at Lerwick on Monday 27 April 2015 and is on its way from Portland in Dorset. As with the other floating accommodation at the port,

Double Order for Super Gloria Reachstacker

Kalmar, part of Cargotec, has gained an order for two Super Gloria reachstackers from Tadarsa Logistics S.L. in Aviles, Spain. The largest reachstackers ever built,

BIMCO Welcomes EU Decision on Migrants

BIMCO has stated today that it appreciates the new efforts by EU leaders to reduce increasing reliance on merchant shipping to rescue the growing numbers of

Legal

5th Floating Accommodation for Lerwick

A further accommodation ship, Ocean Atlantic, is due at Lerwick on Monday 27 April 2015 and is on its way from Portland in Dorset. As with the other floating accommodation at the port,

Double Order for Super Gloria Reachstacker

Kalmar, part of Cargotec, has gained an order for two Super Gloria reachstackers from Tadarsa Logistics S.L. in Aviles, Spain. The largest reachstackers ever built,

BIMCO Welcomes EU Decision on Migrants

BIMCO has stated today that it appreciates the new efforts by EU leaders to reduce increasing reliance on merchant shipping to rescue the growing numbers of

Environmental

IMO Calls for Environmentally Sound Ship Recycling in Bangladesh

The  International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh are jointly implementing a project entitled “Safe and

BIMCO Welcomes EU Decision on Migrants

BIMCO has stated today that it appreciates the new efforts by EU leaders to reduce increasing reliance on merchant shipping to rescue the growing numbers of

Long Beach, Los Angeles ports host forum to gather input

More than 100 cargo owners, trucking firm leaders, longshore labor, marine terminals and other goods movement industry representatives turned out Wednesday for

Arctic Operations

Goliat FPSO in Norway

The Goliat FPSO was successfully floated off the heavy-lift vessel, Dockwise Vanguard, in the fjord outside Hammerfest, says Eni Norge    The Goliat platform has arrived in Hammerfest,

Arctic Nations to Fight Climate Change Despite Russia Tensions

The eight Arctic Council nations pledged on Friday to do more to combat climate change that is shrinking the vast frigid region, with countries trying to put

Rolls-Royce to Power Ice-class MPV

Rolls-Royce informs it has secured a contract to supply a power and propulsion package for an ice-class multipurpose vessel under construction at Keppel Singmarine

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Ship Repair
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2390 sec (4 req/sec)